Freelance: UFC Boss Reacts to CM Punk’s Defeat
Two years came down to two minutes and 14 seconds for Phil “CM Punk” Brooks. The entire fight can, unfortunately, be summed up in a single sentence: a missed right hand, a takedown, a brief struggle, and eventual rear-naked choke in favor of Mickey Gall. Shortly after the loss, UFC President Dana White was asked his thoughts on the failed “experiment.”
“I wouldn’t know if it was an experiment,” White said. “I became friends with him, he’s a nice guy and I have a lot of respect for him. He wanted me to give him a shot, I gave him a shot.”
Before the fight, plenty of comparisons between Punk and fellow former pro wrestler-turned-MMA fighter Brock Lesnar. Lesnar also lost his debut before going 5-3 in his initial run with the promotion, rapidly capturing the UFC Heavyweight championship before a one-off at July’s UFC 200.
“He probably shouldn’t have his next fight in the UFC. Just like I said with Brock, having your first fight with the UFC is tough, and you see tonight, even if it’s up against a guy who’s 2-0, this is a tough place to learn.”
Punk has said many times that he does plan to continue to fight, but the biggest critique of his debut in the sport was that his very first fight was happening in the NFL of mixed martial arts with not even an amateur fight to his credit.
The Ohio Athletic Commission waived a rule that a fighter (Punk) must have five amateur fights to be licensed as a professional in the state. It was directly related to Punk’s pro wrestling background.
Punk then responded a related question at the UFC 203 post-fight press conference:
“My initial venture into this was gonna’ be at the lowest level. This opportunity just got presented to myself, I would’ve been a fool to say no. I don’t know what happens from here on out; what if I get cut?” Punk said. “I think that’s a possibility. Do I want that to happen? No. But who’s to say where I go from here?”
In the post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, Gall called out fellow young gun “Super” Sage Northcutt (also found on the “Dana White: Lookin’ for a Fight” series like Gall) calling him “corny” and wanting to “punch the spikes out of his hair.” Northcutt and his team watch the Punk fight and later expressed to White immediate interest in facing the undefeated newcomer.
While CM Punk awaits his future in MMA, he has collected a half-million dollar payday in the meantime. Even in losing, he did 800,000 pay-per-view buys, becoming the fourth biggest draw along with Conor McGregor, Ronda Rousey, and Lesnar.