WWE Wrestlers in MMA: The tragedy of CM Punk's move to UFC

CM Punk
CM Punk
Anirban Banerjee

CM Punk is possibly one of the top WWE Superstars of all time. During his time in the ring, he alone, with an excellent promo, rejuvenated the entire company at one of its lowest points. Providing an alternative to the straight and solid John Cena for the fans to cheer for, he was the anti-hero that they had been waiting for. Unfortunately, Punk and WWE fell apart, and he left the company in what can safely be said to be, the worst of terms.

Punk then made the revelation that he was actually training to make his debut in UFC. This was one of the most exciting things for fans of both MMA and WWE. For the fans of MMA, this was a WWE Superstar with a huge following coming into UFC, bringing a lot of eyes on the product. For the fans of WWE, they were being exposed to something new and would see how one of their own, who was not Brock Lesnar, did in the cage.

What followed... was a tragedy. In this article of the series of WWE wrestlers in MMA, we talk about the unfortunate tragedy of Punk's move to UFC.

CM Punk's announcement and first fight in UFC

At UFC 181, CM Punk announced that he had signed a multi-fight contract with UFC. The announcement came in 2014, and he commenced his training for his first fight in 2015 under Duke Roufus. What came after was the first of many obstacles that he suffered.

Not only was he transitioning from a career in professional wrestling to an art form that he was wholly unprepared for, but also during the training, he suffered a broken shoulder. It was announced finally, in February of 2016 that Punk would be making his debut in the Octagon to face Mickey Gall, but then came the herniated disc. He had to undergo surgery and finally, the fight was decided to take place on September 10th, 2016.

Punk faced Gall on that date, ironically at the same stadium where he had retired in WWE. His misfortune followed him, as in the first round, at 2 minutes and 14 seconds, in a fight where he did not look impressive for a second, Punk had to submit to a Rear-Naked Choke.

Many thought that was the end of Punk's run in the UFC. Unfortunately for any fans that Punk had, it was not.

Here, you can see the moment that made CM Punk famous, originally.


CM Punk's second and possibly last UFC Fight

CM Punk is not someone who gives up too easily, and he did not end his run in the UFC with only one loss. He was going to try again, and this time he would be more prepared.

The training that he underwent was said to be even more intensive than his first fight in the company. On June 9th, 2018, Punk entered the Octagon once again in his hometown of Chicago. He faced Mike Jackson and this time, did do better, as he went the full three rounds. Unfortunately, it was a clear unanimous decision against him.

That was the last time that he entered the Octagon and once it was done, it was over for him in UFC. Dana White said that he would most probably not fight in the UFC again, despite Punk not ruling it out himself.

ALSO READ: WWE Wrestlers in MMA - Brock Lesnar

With Punk being the incredible hero that he was to WWE fans, his run in the UFC saw a simultaneous fall from grace for the Superstar, not only among any prospective fans from UFC but also many of his original WWE fans.

Thankfully, he is back where he fits now, on WWE Backstage, where he does a tremendous job when he makes his appearances.

Edited by Samya Majumdar


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