As it looks like CM Punk’s UFC debut is on the horizon, I can’t help but laugh at those within the MMA community, mostly the competitors themselves, that have nothing but bad things to say about him entering their genre. Time after time, all you see is negative posts, tweets, and comments about this “outsider” coming onto “their turf”. What makes this situation even more hilarious is when these statements come from fighters that are virtually unknown, who haven’t done anything or drawn a dime as a professional fighter. Instead of being so quick to bury a guy who has yet to display his skills to the public at large, how about you take some time to visit YouTube to see just what you’re up against.
Punk’s foray into the world of MMA is unique in quite a few ways, many of which it seems his detractors don’t seem to consider. The most obvious is that CM Punk is a bonafide superstar. Love him or hate him, his popularity is hard to ignore. With a loyal fan base coming from his days as a pro wrestler, there is a reason why him being announced as a UFC signee in 2014 generated so much buzz. When is the last time the signing of John Doe with a record of 0 and 0 had that much publicity surrounding it? Never. The UFC is a business, and just like any business, their main objective is to make money. As much money as humanly possible by using each of their investments, in this case, their fighters. The UFC is not run by dummies. There is a reason why business is good and their best and most successful days are ahead of them. When the opportunity presented itself for Dana White to sign Punk to a deal, their friendship out the window, this was a win-win for everyone involved. The UFC would obtain new fans that might not be all that familiar with their product, but are more than familiar with the enigma that is CM Punk. Punk is a star, hands down. He lives the part and is his own hype machine. People will tune in to see what he can do. His loyal fans will tune in to see the pro wrestler beat up the UFC guy. The haters will tune in to see Punk get embarrassed in a sport he has no business being a part of in the first place. Bottom line is, EVERYONE will be watching. It doesn’t matter what the reason is.
For those fighters who aren’t well known that are upset that CM Punk is getting this opportunity or “taking their spot”, here’s an idea- get better, be marketable, or make your own opportunity. As it looks as of this writing, Punk’s first opponent will be Mickey Gall (1-0) if he can win his next fight. Credit to Gall, he put himself in this position. He was vocal and used every platform he had to let it be known that he wanted Punk for his first fight. Gall now controls his own destiny. For the journeymen out there that have been doing this for a while or are still trying to make a name for themselves, why hate on Punk? He is money in the bank for the UFC, guaranteed. You, on the other hand, are just another faceless name out there, not worth the risk. If you feel you are, prove it. The best work, and work, and work until they get what they want. The best hardly bitch, moan, and complain about what someone else is doing. They work for what they want. You don’t like it, make the adjustments you need in order to stand out. Sell yourself, not just in the ring, but outside of it as well. Conor McGregor is one hell of a fighter. He’s also one hell of an entertainer. He’s got the look, the ability, and the charisma. CM Punk is the same, except we find out about his ability once he steps in the octagon. Can you say the same for yourself, guy who is 6-8 that lives in Bumfuck, Egypt? Didn’t think so.
Dana White was recently a guest on Garbage Time with Katie Nolan. He was asked about his thoughts on the split feelings among the fans regarding CM Punk fighting in the UFC. His response was, “If you don’t like it, then don’t watch”. He’s right, and you know what, you WILL watch. Love the idea of Punk in UFC or hate it, we will all watch. Fans and fighters can complain about it all they want, but at the end of the day, they should be thanking CM Punk. Thank the “fake pro wrestler” for one of the highest Pay-Per-View buy numbers in the history of the company and bringing an entirely new audience to the product. Trust me, it will happen. His track record in sports and entertainment speaks for itself. Tell me again why CM Punk is bad for the UFC?