When UFC president Dana White announced in December they had signed former WWE champion Phillip Brooks (pictured), better known as “CM Punk,” White suggested Brooks wouldn’t make his MMA debut for least six months after choosing a team.
Brooks joined the talented Roufusport gym quickly after inking with the UFC, though it appears Brooks is still a long way away from taking the cage.
“I’m super OK with it if my accountant is,” Punk said on The Jon Anik and Kenny Florian Podcast (transcribed by MMAJunkie.com). “I know Duke has told me, and I think he’s been public with it, that he would like a full 12 months before he signed off on me fighting. I’ve had zero talks with Dana or [UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta or [UFC matchmaker] Joe Silva – anybody – about an opponent, about a date. I’m thankful for that because there’s zero pressure on that, too.
“I think a lot of people are antsy. They’re saying on Twitter, ‘Ah, you’re never going to fight.’ This was just announced in what? November? December? I’ve been training full-time for like six months. As bad as I have the itch to get in there, like I said, I want to be as prepared as I possibly can be. I wouldn’t be upset if it got pushed into 2016.”
Brooks, who turns 37 in October, has studied Brazilian jiu jitsu under the Gracies for several years but has zero MMA experience. However, once his feet touch the octagon’s canvas, he will officially become the UFC’s biggest mainstream superstar courtesy of his accomplishments in the WWE.
Despite his advanced age, Brooks is adamant that MMA isn’t merely a pit stop before pursuing other endeavors.
“I’m also looking at the big picture; this isn’t a one-and-done thing for me,” Punk said. “I’m not looking to fight just once – win, lose or draw. This is something I’m training for, and I feel like it would be a super waste of time if I was just training for one fight or anything like that, if I wasn’t just making a career out of it. Getting beat up in the gym every day wouldn’t be worth it in the big picture.
“I’m not saying I’m going to make a title run or anything like that, but I’m also – I’m looking to maximize my time here. If I wind up fighting in 2016, I’m not going to be upset about it.”
Brooks weighed 200 pounds when he performed for the WWE. He has since shed about 10 pounds and is “shooting” to compete in the UFC’s welterweight division.
Fertitta previously said Brooks won’t get a can in his debut, but a “recognizable” name.