CM Punk: from WWE to UFC

For years, the name CM Punk brought to mind one of the biggest stars that World Wrestling Entertainment has ever seen. In his 15-year career, CM Punk is a seven-time world champion, three-time WWE Heavyweight champion and one-time World Tag-Team Champion, in addition to being recognized as having the sixth longest reign as WWE champion at 434 days. In the world of professional wrestling, CM Punk is a star. He wanted to see if his skills in the ring translated to the octagon, however, for his first fight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship on Saturday Sept. 10.

Punk was set to fight Mickey Gall at the UFC 203, and as is the case with many of these fights, there was a lot of hype and trash talk for what amounted to be a pretty uneventful evening in the octagon.

Prior to the fight, Gall made it clear that several other UFC fighters expressed to him that they wanted him to ‘win decisively.’ Gall said he wanted to prove that WWE fighters can’t just waltz into the octagon expecting to have any success—he even publicly told TMZ that he was going to beat up CM Punk violently in the fight. And as it turns out, he did just that.

The statistics sheet for the fight was something that Punk cannot even come close to comparing to his WWE records. Gall landed 20 significant strikes compared to Punk’s zero. Gall only needed one takedown to submit Punk with a rear naked choke, just two minutes and 14 seconds into the first round. Two years of training and tons of drama all led up to just over two minutes of a very lopsided fight. In mixed martial arts, fans don’t always get what they pay for.

Despite this rather embarrassing loss, Punk says he will be back in the octagon, regardless of UFC President Dana White’s comment that Punk “probably shouldn’t have his next fight in the UFC.”

But can you really blame Punk for wanting to give it another try? In the two minutes and 14 seconds that Punk spent in the octagon with Gall, Punk made $500,000. That’s roughly $4,000 per second. You can’t exactly blame him for wanting to come back—no matter how bad he lost.

Punk was not the first WWE star to give the octagon a try. Fellow WWE star Brock Lesnar tried to convert his professional wrestling skills into the octagon and became the UFC heavyweight champion in 2011. Recently, however, Lesnar allegedly tested positive for anti-estrogen—a banned substance—after his most recent fight at UFC 200.

Perhaps a WWE star will have the ability to have a successful UFC career in the future, but until that day comes it seems that the skills required in the world of WWE don’t exactly translate to the octagon.