- CM Punk's journey to the Octagon and UFC 203 has been a long, winding path. Much of it was captured through a recent documentary series entitled "The Evolution of Punk." In the fourth and final installment above, the former WWE superstar sees first-hand who his opponent will be and finds out his progress from injuries. Punk also wins a sparring session by submission with a rear-naked choke. The episode ends with "Cult of Personality" playing.
- Despite previously forcing MMA fighters to have at least five amateur bouts under their belts before competing, the Ohio Athletic Commission has cleared the way for CM Punk to make his debut at UFC 203 this weekend. Punk takes on Mickey Gall in a featured pay-per-view bout at welterweight.
"We felt this was no different than, basically, the Brock Lesnar situation, when they let him fight in the UFC," OAC Executive Director Bernie Profato told MMAjunkie. "We have confidence in the matchmaking of the UFC. It looks like a competitive fight."
Profato stated that the commission reviewed Punk's pro wrestling career and used that as a piece of his licensing procedure. They also factored in Gall's inexperience and the fact that Punk is training at Roufusport with Duke Roufus and several MMA veterans.
"If it was that weak a fight, it would have been one of the preliminary-card fights," Profato said. "It's a competitive fight. It may not be one of the greatest fights on the card, but it's a competitive fight."
- Bellator welterweight champion Andrey Koreshkov will defend his title against Douglas Lima in Israel this November, the promotion announced. The two will headline the November 11 event from the Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv, which will air on Spike Sports.
Koreshkov (19-1) won the title with a decision victory over Lima (27-6) and subsequently defended it vs. Benson Henderson earlier this year. Lima, meanwhile, scored a win in England over Paul Daley to secure his rematch.
The card will also feature Noad Lahat against Scott Cleve in a featherweight co-main event. Lahat is a veteran of the Israeli Army and has gone 9-2 over his MMA career.
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