After almost two years after signing with UFC in November 2014, CM Punk made his mixed martial arts debut in the same venue where he told Vince McMahon he was leaving WWE on the 27th January 2014 Raw – the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
Having no professional or amatuer experience in MMA, Punk went up against the brown belt, 2-0 record holding Mickey Gall. Punk went for Gall as soon as the bell rang, but the 24-year-old took him down to the mat and spent the next two minutes pounding on Punk while trying to transition into a rear-naked choke. Once he got it locked in, Punk tapped – just 2 minutes 14 seconds into the first round.
In a typically brilliant promo after the fight, Punk promised:
“I will be back, believe it or not. This was the most fun I’ve ever had in my life, the second best night of my life besides marrying my wife, obviously.”
Hopefully his wedding night lasted longer than 2 minutes 14 seconds.
Punk continued saying “it doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down, get back up” and that if someone says you can’t do something, prove them wrong. It was spine-tingling stuff. God, I miss Punk.
The overwhelming reaction following Punk’s defeat has been of respect. As the Iron Sheik eloquently tweeted, a 37 year old guy making his MMA debut on the sport’s biggest stage takes a substantial amount of testicular fortitude.
“THE CM PUNK HAS THE REAL BALLS. GOD BLESS YOU BUBBA”
While Mick Foley tweeted, “I’m proud of @CMPunk for taking a risk, for making a statement,” and MVP pointed out at the event, “No matter what, @CMPunk is a draw. All the wrestling fans left. This place is empty.”
And quick as a whip, the very witty Kayfabe News posted the story: “CM Punk “puts over” developmental talent Mickey Gall.”
But what’s next for Punk? Going by his post-fight promo, he definitely wants to fight again, and he’s keen to get back into training as soon as possible.
“I think they’re going to force me to stay out because I have this ear and I’ve got a couple stitches in my eye but I’d be back in there Monday if it was up to me.”
But whether that’s in the UFC or not remains to be seen.
“I haven’t talked to Dana [White] yet….But it’s not like I fought a good fight, so…”
John Pollock of the Fight Network did get a chance to speak with the President of the UFC, though.
“Dana White tells me that if CM Punk has another fight, it probably shouldn’t be in the UFC”
This echoes what UFC’s colour commentator Joe Rogan said in the post-fight wrap-up:
“What [Punk] did was great, it was courageous, But it was delusional…There’s a reason brown belts don’t compete with white belts in jiu-jitsu tournaments. It’s because it’s not fair. And what we saw tonight is not fair.”
“If I had to give CM Punk some advice – I hate to harp on this – I’d say fight as an amateur. Fight people at your level. He wants to do this, he wants to challenge himself, he wants to continue – God bless him. He’s a fun guy. I like him. But this is not the way to do it.”
What do you want to see from CM Punk next? Let us know in the comments