Paul Heyman has hyped up CM Punk’s credentials for fighting in the UFC. Speaking to Ariel Helwani on ‘The MMA Hour‘, Heyman put over the fact that Punk is passionate about MMA.
“He’s educated in MMA. He’ a very serious student of the disciplines and he’s become far more entrenched,” the WWE personality states. “He’s a fighter at heart. One of the things that makes it so interesting is he came into the wrestling world as a fighter who ended up performing, not a performer making a transition into the fighting world.”
This is of course hyperbole to a large extent. Phil Brooks was not a fighter who ended up performing. He had no real sports background before pro wrestling. His MMA interest stems from discovering the sport in the mid-2000 UFC boom period, at which point he became a dedicated fan. He took up some basic jiu jitsu training in the last four years, but nothing anywhere near the kind of level a MMA fighter trains in. The UFC is a multi-discipline sport, so Punk would need far more than just jiu jitsu. He will need to take up at least a year of top level boxing, wrestling and increased fitness work to have any hope of making it in MMA.
What he does have going for him is pay per view box office appeal. That could create interest on the UFC’s part, especially having witnessed the effect Brock Lesnar had on UFC PPV buys. However, the MMA giant is trying to be taken seriously as a sport, it doesn’t want to be seen as a circus show. Punk would undoubtedly have to pay his dues in a smaller MMA promotion before making it to the UFC, they’d want to see that he really does have what it takes to make it as a fighter. Unfortunately, the chances are, even the most basic MMA fighter would be able to put a quick beating on Punk.
Not if you believe what Paul Heyman says though,”Punk has always had the opinion that at its core, when the cage door gets locked it’s two really capable people punching each other in the face until one drops. Sometimes the skill level is overrated, and the ability to just fight comes into play.”
Maybe Heyman is sensing a money making promotional opportunity. Maybe he’s acting on Punk’s direction and testing the waters for interest in a MMA run. Time will tell if we ever do see CM Punk in the UFC, but it isn’t something to hold your breath on.