“CM Punk’s” (pictured) much-anticipated MMA debut has hit a bit of a snag. On Monday, ESPN.com confirmed the former WWE wrestler has suffered a shoulder injury that will delay his UFC premiere by at least one month.
“He got caught in a scramble, so right now he’s taking a little time off,” coach Duke Roufus stated. “He was doing great before that. His progress has been good. He’s got a great attitude and he’s a hard worker. He got a place in Milwaukee where he lives all week when he’s here training, so he’s in it to win it.
“Our biggest thing is we want him to 101 percent before [we resuming training]. We don’t have a hard date for his fight to force the issue, so making sure he’s completely healthy is possible.”
Punk, whose real name is Phil Brooks, could be cleared to return to training after an October 14 doctor’s appointment. Roufus expects Brooks to have three to four months of preparation time after the UFC announces his first fight, which is expected to be against a “recognizable” opponent with similar experience.
If that’s the case, Brooks’ UFC debut won’t take place any earlier than mid-February 2016.
Brooks signed with the UFC back in December. At the time, UFC president Dana White predicted he wouldn’t make his MMA debut until six months after joining Team Roufusport.
That soft deadline quietly came and went, as Roufus continues to sharpen the skills of his most mainstream star. Brooks then said in June that he was hoping to fight for real before year’s end.
Brooks turns 37 at the end of this month.