Things had sort of quieted down on the Punk front, until recently the UFC announced that Mickey Gall would be his opponent, if he won at UFC Fight Night 82. Gall quickly took out Mike Jackson to lock up a bout with Punk, who was on hand at the event to face off with the welterweight.
Then, however, it was announced that Punk will be sidelined for a while, since he’s undergone back surgery.
Well, recently Matt Brown appeared on The Great MMA Debate podcast, and the welterweight contender weighed in on Punk’s MMA aspirations. Here is some of what Brown had to say (quotes via MMA Fighting.com):
“This guy, he aint no fighter,” said Brown. “People don’t understand what it’s like sitting in that locker room for two to three hours knowing a guy down the hall is going to try to f**king murder you. That feeling in indescribable. The nerves, people call it fear. That feeling is not to be envied. Personally, I do envy it but that’s what separates a fighter from everyone else…”
“Now he’s got to face this kid in the ring right after,” Brown added later. “You could see there wasn’t any showmanship on CM Punk all of a sudden. There wasn’t any s**t talking, no flashiness. All of sudden it’s this humble guy and reality is setting in when you’re facing your opponent for the first time. It’s looking at you in the face. That’s only going to grow as the fight gets closer…”
Now, Punk did look somewhat uncomfortable while talking to Gall, and he certainly didn’t come with any trash talk. Does this mean he’s not a fighter at heart? Or has some self doubt? Possibly, and if so, it’s kind of understandable, since he’s never fought professionally.
But, while people can be upset with the UFC for going this route, it’s hard not to respect Punk for living out his dream no? If you caught any of his post UFC FN 82 interviews, you can tell he’s passionate about MMA and he offered some interesting technical insights as well.
So, could Punk get bombed out in his debut? Sure, and the hater fall out will be brutal. The fact he’s willing to risk enduring that, however, says something about his mental toughness.