On Saturday, former WWE superstar CM Punk made his long awaited UFC debut. Unfortunately, things didn’t end well for the former professional wrestler. CM Punk was completely dominated by his opponent Mickey Gall, who submitted him under two minutes in the first round. Before the fight, Gall was a betting odds heavy favorite, but the line moved because Punk’s fans thought he had a chance to win.
After the fight, UFC president Dana White told reporters that Punk probably won’t fight in the UFC again, which isn’t very surprising considering how bad he looked against a fighter that had a 2-0 record.
Prior to joining the UFC, Punk was one of the most popular wrestlers in the WWE. A falling out with WWE owner Vince McMahon, led to Punk leaving the organization to explore other opportunities. In the past, professional wrestlers like Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley were able to make the transition from the WWE to MMA, but Punk didn’t have such luck.
The difference between Punk and the other WWE athletes mentioned above is the fact that both men had amateur wrestling backgrounds, which makes it easier for them to make the transition. Even though they both don’t have great standup games, their wrestling background allows them to take other fighters to the ground, nullifying their standup advantage.
Punk didn’t have an amateur wrestling background and the only MMA he knew before he started training for the fight was the Karate lessons he took as a kid. Punk’s age was also a factor because he was trying to learn a new sport at 36, which is when most fighters start thinking about retirement.
Realistically, Punk never had a real chance in this fight despite the inexperience of his opponent. Even though Gall was 2-0 before the fight, he has been fighting for some time, and also has a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which gave him a big advantage going into the fight.
Gall also has better standup than Punk, which gave him the advantage in all aspects of the fight. The only chance Punk had of winning the fight on Saturday was by landing a lucky knockout punch but he never got the chance because he was smothered by Gall as soon as the fight started.
By the time Gall had Punk on the ground, it was clearly over because Punk couldn’t figure out how to transition from the position he found himself in.
After the fight, Punk said he was still interested in pursuing an MMA career despite the loss, unfortunately it won’t be in the UFC.
If Punk is serious about becoming an MMA fighter, he still has a few options. One of his options is to sign with Bellator, which will give him an opportunity to fight less experienced guys and work his way up the ladder.
However, Bellator has been known to use famous names in gimmick fights just to get their attendance and ratings up, doing so most recently with the Dada 5,000 and Kimbo Slice fight. Punk will have to decide if he wants to continue for the money or because he wants to become a real fighter, but money shouldn’t be an issue since he reportedly made $500,000 on Saturday.