CM Punk signed to the UFC on December 6th 2014. Since then, the retired professional wrestler has faced it all. Starting with the shoulder injury he suffered during training that pushed his debut behind by six to ten months, this was followed by the surgery he required for a herniated disc and since the time of his signing the criticism and the heckling by his detractors till date has never run dry.
The 37 year-old will be making his debut at UFC 203 in Cleveland against Mickey Gall(1-0 UFC). For Mickey Gall, this might just be a lottery ticket which no doubt he has earned by destroying Mike Jackson in mere 45 seconds at UFC Fight Night 82 to climb up the ladder. The journey of Phil “CM Punk” Brooks has been well documented. Details about his training sessions, insights into personal life and interactions with his fans have all been shot in detail.
Age might not be on the side of the rookie but his level-headedness, experience to perform in front of huge crowds and the best of the lot being his trainer, the legend, Duke Roufus are surely his trump cards. Close to 2 years have passed since the signing was announced but till date the buzz in every corner and forum of the internet is about the fight Phil CM Brooks Vs Mickey Gall. This is a terrific opportunity for Punk to showcase his skill set and silence his critics and fans who have ostracised him right since the beginning.
With just a couple of days away from the fight, the legendary commentator and WWE Hall Of Famer Jim Ross put forth his point of view on MMA Junkie Radio. His take comes across as tactfully diplomatic and sugar-coated. When asked about his view on the signing of Punk to UFC, Jim replied “I don’t want to say it was a publicity stunt, because that would be inaccurate, but I thought it had a lot of publicity stunt elements to it.
You sign a guy, based on his being a major fan of the genre of MMA and being an amateur practitioner of Muay Thai, being a student of the game, no doubt about that. But, also being 37 years old and never having a fight. So why would they sign him to a three-fight deal, as I recall? Because he brings a great marketing opportunity with him because he has name identity. He’s attitudinal and a unique entity.”
Ross goes on to say:
“I think the signing was to create a buzz and if you get something out of him, it’s a bonus, What they’re going to get out of him this week is additional pay-per-view buys they may not have received if Punk was not on the card because we’re talking about him. A lot of people are talking about him. I’ve done a ton of media in the last 10 days, as much as I have for any UFC event, because CM Punk is on the card. For the fighters and those that say Punk took a spot from one of the regular fighters away, I say I don’t think you’re going to get the guys on the card getting a piece of the pay-per-view to agree with that. They’re going to be happy he’s bringing more eyeballs to the TV”
The reasoning to an extent seems observant but at the same time reflect an insight quite opposite to what Phil feels and leaves a foul taste in the minority which supports the debutant.
He concluded by voicing his condemning opinion on how it might not be beneficial monetarily but not artistically.
“I don’t think he wins,I hope it does. Four-ounce gloves are a difference maker for a lot of people. I think he’ll have a decent showing, I really do. But I know why he’s signed and he’s going to help the fight be more financially successful. Maybe not artistically successful, but financially. As we know, the bottom line is the money.”
Who do you guys think will win? Does Punk have a chance? Let us know in the comments below