CM Punk on surreal UFC run: ‘What the f*** was I thinking?’


Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

CM Punk is as mystified by his decision to try MMA as much as anyone else.

Eight years ago at UFC 203, Punk officially made his walk to the octagon in what was not only his pro debut, but his first-ever MMA fight. He was no average debutant, bringing a massive fan following to the event as a former WWE megastar. Unfortunately, that wrestling stardom did little to help him inside the cage, and he was submitted in a little over two minutes by Mickey Gall.

Punk, 45, is now back with the WWE, and as he prepares to appear at his first WrestleMania since 2013, he took a moment to look back at his memorable two-fight UFC run during an interview on The MMA Hour.

“I asked my wife the other day, because I said something, I was just like, ‘What was I, 35 when I fought?’” Punk said. “And she was just like, ‘Oh no, you were 36 or 37.’ I just went, ‘What the f*** was I thinking?’”

In fact, Punk was just six weeks shy of his 38th birthday when he fought Gall, and he was 39 when he took on Mike Jackson in his second UFC fight. The bout with Jackson also ended in a loss, this time by decision, though the result was later overturned when Jackson tested positive for marijuana.

The Jackson fight took place at UFC 225 in Punk’s hometown of Chicago, which proved to be a tumultuous occurrence. In the lead-up to the June 2018 event, Punk was in the middle of being sued by fellow wrestler and former friend Colt Cabana, who accused Punk of breach of contract and fraud related to a 2014 lawsuit. Following an acrimonious departure from the WWE in 2014, Punk famously accused WWE doctor Christopher Amann of medical negligence during an appearance on Cabana’s podcast, which resulted in Amann suing Punk and Cabana for defamation. Cabana’s 2018 grievance concerned Punk allegedly agreeing to pay Cabana’s legal fees in the defamation suit.

Even given those circumstances, Punk is fine with how fight-night played out.

“I’m glad I did it,” he said. “Zero regrets. I shouldn’t have fought in Chicago, because of the worst two weeks of my life. Easily the worst two weeks of my life. I couldn’t cut weight properly. I still made weight. I’m proud of myself for that. I’m an ambitious guy.”

Considering the amount of media attention Punk’s move from pro wrestling to pro fighting garnered, it was inevitable that his losses would be scrutinized. To this day, you can find fans who will mock the wrestling legend for his unsuccessful venture into MMA.

Punk has seen the best and the worst of both wrestling and MMA fans, so he has nothing but a positive outlook when he recalls his time as a legitimate cagefighter.

“I get it, it’s easy to ‘LOL’ and make fun of me,” Punk said. “Some people look at that and be like, ‘That’s embarrassing.’

“I f****** made the weight. I made the walk. I am 100 percent proud of myself, and I would do it again, because that was me at my absolute worst, and I did it. You want to call me a loser, that’s cool, but I was stoked I got that opportunity, and I was stoked I did it.”

Source: 
https://www.mmafighting.com/2024/4/1/24118260/cm-punk-on-surreal-ufc-run-what-the-f-was-i-thinking