CM Punk, also known as Phil Brooks, should be all set for his long-awaited debut at UFC 203 on Sept. 10 against upstart Mickey Gall in Cleveland. Unless something untoward happens yet again, this should be the moment some have been eagerly awaiting.
The match has been moved back a couple of times though many are still not totally sold on the same success that Punk will have in the Octagon compared to the WWE ring. Punk has trained for this stint but many are still in doubt. And then there is his age (37).
Punk is pretty much aware of the flak and is fine with it. Being a first-timer and another WWE star to make the odd jump, criticism comes with the whole thing.
Regardless, he is unfazed. Punk is keeping a positive attitude against Gall, which could more or less determine if he can really survive the transition to mixed martial arts fighting.
“Life is unfair. But you can’t listen to what somebody on the Internet is saying about you, you know? You dig hard enough you’ll find negative stuff about everybody. I’m a positive guy. I know what I’m good at. I know what I’m gonna be good at,” says Punk via MMA Fighting.
WWE return possible?
There is no telling how Punk will fare but a loss could spur up talk about a possible WWE return. With the brand split, adding Punk to either Raw or SmackDown could be a big boost but only if the wounds have healed.
Recall that Punk left due to health reasons and was not shy to reveal how the WWE mistreated him during events. The issue is still in the air though not as heated the past year.
For now, Punk is bent on proving he belongs to the UFC. He needs to make believers in the doubters first and perhaps take it from there. At 37, Punk is unlikely to have a lengthy UFC tenure so that too is something that should motivate him to do well against a young and feisty Gall.