Former WWE Champion CM Punk was on a recent episode of Oral Sessions with Renée Paquette where he opened up about his run in the UFC. Punk’s last fight was in 2018 when he lost to Mike Jackson by unanimous decision, but Punk revealed that he had wanted to pursue a MMA career when his contract expired in 2011.
“I always wanted to do it, and being on the road eight days a week for how long WWE people are on the road for, I could never train consistently,” Punk pointed out. “I had planned on leaving when my deal was up at the end of 2010 or 2011. That was kind of my plan because I always thought if I was going to train, it was never just going to be a hobby for me. So, the idea was, I was going to leave.
“I needed time off anyway, but I would just devote a lot of time to full-time training. At that time, I wasn’t a big enough name where somebody was just going to be like, ‘Hey, it’s a spectacle. It’s a freak show. Everyone wants to watch you fight.’ So, I was just going to do it… ‘the right way.’ I was going to train. I was going to do amateur fights. I was just going to take my life in a different direction just because I wanted to do it.”
Punk is possibly still pursuing a career as a MMA fighter, but many fans have criticized Punk’s UFC run, with some even considering it a failure. Punk responded to those remarks. He also said that he wanted to pursue an MMA career before he got too old, and he admitted that he was too old when he signed with UFC.
“I think a lot of people out there who are critical of me and the performances will say, ‘Oh, I’ll get beat up for a million dollars,’ but my retort to that was always, ‘Do the work that I did to get to the point where somebody would offer you that kind of money because there would be an audience to see you fight.’ 73 Twitter followers doesn’t equate to a million-dollar payday to fight. But like I said, everybody’s path’s different. And then I guess I got a little hot there at the end of my run in WWE,” Punk recalled. “And I was faced with an opportunity.
“It was re-signed for three more years even though I was already shot. I was already pretty mentally and physically exhausted, and I obviously re-signed, and then that kind of delayed everything for another three years. The idea was, ‘Let’s do this before you get too old.’ God d**n it, turns out I was too old.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Oral Sessions with Renée Paquette with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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