14 for 14: No. 5 CM Punk signs with the UFC

December 30, 2014

It’s rare that a hyped-up announcement lives up to expectations.  But, the signing of Phil Brooks (aka CM Punk) did when he came on during the UFC 181 PPV to announce his intent to fight in the UFC.

Punk’s announcement left many UFC fans wondering about the direction of the UFC.  Some like the signing seeing it as good business as Punk is a “needle mover.”  Others, like Nate Diaz and Jon Jones questioned the signing.  For those fighters that had to fight and scrape their way to make it to the UFC, seeing Punk, a 36 year old without any MMA fights under his belt, entering the UFC was a joke.

Jones provided sound reasoning for his anti-Punk sentiment (via MMA Fighting):

“Every day I’m [Jones] at the gym watching these kids training. These guys have no money and they’re training their tails off, giving up everything to be a fighter.  Living in the gym, eating turkey and peanut butter, bare minimum to chase this dream and then a superstar like him just gets to jump into the UFC just because he knows the right people and has a name.”

Punk stated at the initial interview that he had not decided on a place to train and what weight division he would compete in.

The signing came shortly after Punk was on the Colt Cabana Podcast detailing health issues including admitting to 12 or 13 concussions.  One would think that this concern will come into play if a commission will have to sanction Punk’s first fight.

Payout Perspective:

Can Punk draw ratings and PPV buys for the UFC?  The day after UFC 181, the name CM Punk drew over 100,000 in U.S. google searches.  A Fox Sports Live which featured a CM Punk interview drew more than the usual amount of viewers.  One might conclude that there is a definite interest, or should we say curiosity, about whether Punk can actually fight.  Sure, he is great in the gym and trains with a lot of MMA fighters, but there are a lot of basketball players that are great in the gym but horrible in actual games.  Will Punk be able to translate his athletic ability in the Octagon?  Although Brock Lesnar was able to make the switch to MMA, he was a decorated college wrestler.  He also had at least one pro fight before entering the UFC.  Thus, the Punk signing is a gamble.  Moreover, the Punk signing reflects a move by the UFC to focus on the spectacle aspect of its business.

3 Responses to “14 for 14: No. 5 CM Punk signs with the UFC”

  1. JF on December 30th, 2014 9:59 AM

    As the Ortiz-Bonnar blockbuster fight showed us, MMA is closer to spectacle than it is to traditional sport so this signing is a good business move in that aspect. MMA purists may cry but the reality is there are so few of them a league the size of the UFC cannot survive on pure MMA combat alone.

    As for CM Punk himself, my 2 cents is that he’ll never fight in the UFC. He has ZERO serious combat training. He will start now at age 37 after multiple concussion sand injuries and train like crazy for 1 year? Even in full-on sparring he’ll realize he can’t make it against real boxers, grapplers and submission specialists who have been training seriously for YEARS if not decade and who are young, healthy and hungry.

  2. Dave on December 30th, 2014 10:16 AM

    Michael Jordan wanted to be a baseball player, he went and played in the minors. How is fake fighting a transferable skill to real fighting.

  3. d on January 1st, 2015 10:44 AM

    JF with more of his retarded delusions. RIght, MMA is more spectacle than traditional sports like boxing which is why they dominated the ppv marketshare over boxing from 2007-2013 and the only reason they didn’t have more buys last year was because of nearly every headliner getting injured which despite what Leon the Schmo claims, will never happen again.

    Also, as for CM Punk, you are an idiot once again. First off, he has been training for years with the younger Gracies and a number of legit fighters. I’m not claiming he is going to be a success, but get your facts straight. If the guys who train him didn’t think he was capable, they wouldn’t let him take a fight against a serious opponent.

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