It has been more than a year since former WWE champion CM Punk made his disastrous Octagon debut. But it now appears he is on the road to a UFC return.
Punk (real name Phil Brooks) rose to prominence in the professional wrestling world, making his way from Ring of Honor and TNA to ECW and finally the pinnacle, WWE. Punk was problematic for WWE execs, but eventually claimed the WWE Championship.
He exited the professional wrestling Goliath in 2014 and inked a deal with the UFC a few short months later despite having no experience in mixed martial arts competition.
A longtime martial artist, Punk took more than a year-and-a-half to prepare for his Octagon debut, working with coach Duke Rufous alongside fighters like Anthony and Sergio Pettis, Ben Askren, and others. It wasn’t enough, however, as Mickey Gall made short work of Punk at UFC 203, submitting him little more than 2 minutes into their fight.
Though logic would dictate that it might behoove Punk to go outside the UFC to get more ring time in with opponents that had a level of experience more akin to his own, Punk hunkered down and continued to hone his skills. He has insisted that he wants to fight again in the UFC, but would take a fight elsewhere if that was his only option. Punk wants to continue fighting.
Now, little more than a year after his UFC debut, Punk appears to be back in camp, preparing for his next trip to the Octagon.
“Back in #PunkCamp with my man CM Punk, working hard and getting better every day,” Roufus wrote on his Instagram account on Friday. “Working on his next fight.”
In the immediate aftermath of Punk’s disastrous debut, UFC president Dana White said he thought that Punk would probably be best served to fight outside of the UFC in his next bout if he was determined to keep fighting. He has since softened on that stance, giving his usual “we’ll see what’s next” response on most occasions when asked about the former WWE champion.
There has been no indication from White or the UFC as to what’s next for Punk, but it appears he intends to continue his mixed martial arts quest.
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