According to various professional wrestling reports, WWE superstar CM Punk abruptly left the promotion before this week’s live airing of “Monday Night RAW.” Because of Punk’s longtime affection for MMA and jiu jitsu training under the Gracies, the rumor mill immediately started buzzing that the 35-year-old might now try his hand at real fighting.
If that’s the case, it’s news to UFC president Dana White (pictured). The two sat side-by-side just five days ago at UFC on FOX 10 and Punk, whose real name is Phillip Jack Brooks, didn’t say a peep about trying to take his talents to the Octagon.
“He quit [the WWE]? Really?” a confused White responded Thursday when told of Punk’s recent career choice. “No, he hasn’t said a word to me [about fighting in the UFC]. He hasn’t reached out to me. I was with him all night in Chicago, he never said a word about it. He just showed up. We talked about a lot of things, fighting was not one of them.
“I like him, he’s a great guy. It’s a little late to get into the game, but who knows if he can fight? I don’t know. We’ll see what happens, but I like him a lot. He’s a nice guy.”
Of course, Punk would be following in the ginormous footsteps of Brock Lesnar, who previously left fake fighting behind and eventually become UFC heavyweight champion in November 2008. However, Lesnar is a physical beast and was one month shy of 30 when he made his MMA debut.
At the same time, this could be much ado about nothing. It’s possible Punk leaving the WWE is part of the script to help generate buzz for the company’s new online network launching in February.