Former WWE Champion and UFC fighter, CM Punk has admitted that he was too old for Ultimate Fighting Championship when he began training for the sport.
When the talent announced that he was going to follow in the footsteps of Brock Lesnar and trade the wrestling ring for the octagon, there was much speculation about how much success he could expect considering his age and size.
However, ‘The Cult of Personality’ defied all his doubters and and did what no one thought possible when he strapped on the gloves to battle Mickey Gall on September 10, 2016. Unfortunately, things didn’t go his way and Punk lost via submission in little over two minutes into round one.
Undeterred, the straight edge superstar returned two years later to right the wrong in a fight against Mike Jackson on June 9, 2018. Though he lasted longer into round five, Punk again lost via unanimous decision.
Now, the master of the GTS has sat down with Renee Paquette on her Oral Sessions Podcast to discuss his time in UFC and admit that he was to old for the sport by the time he came to compete:
“I always wanted to do it, and being on the road eight days a week for how long WWE people are on the road for, I could never train consistently. I had planned on leaving when my deal was up at the end of 2010 or 2011. That was kind of my plan because I always thought if I was going to train, it was never just going to be a hobby for me. So, the idea was, I was going to leave.
I needed time off anyway, but I would just devote a lot of time to full-time training. At that time, I wasn’t a big enough name where somebody was just going to be like, ‘Hey, it’s a spectacle. It’s a freak show. Everyone wants to watch you fight.’ So, I was just going to do it… ‘the right way.’ I was going to train. I was going to do amateur fights. I was just going to take my life in a different direction just because I wanted to do it.”
While he hasn’t ruled out a return to the cage despite fans considering his bouts a failure, CM Punk orated that he was too old for the physicality by the time he left WWE:
“I think a lot of people out there who are critical of me and the performances will say, ‘Oh, I’ll get beat up for a million dollars,’ but my retort to that was always, ‘Do the work that I did to get to the point where somebody would offer you that kind of money because there would be an audience to see you fight.’ 73 Twitter followers doesn’t equate to a million-dollar payday to fight. But like I said, everybody’s path’s different. And then I guess I got a little hot there at the end of my run in WWE. And I was faced with an opportunity.
It was re-signed for three more years even though I was already shot. I was already pretty mentally and physically exhausted, and I obviously re-signed, and then that kind of delayed everything for another three years. The idea was, ‘Let’s do this before you get too old.’ God d**n it, turns out I was too old.”
CM Punk has not competed in UFC since his loss in 2018, but has been busy with other projects. Most notably, the talent made his acting debut in the 2019 horror film, The Girl on the Third Floor, where he received rave reviews for his portrayal as Donald Koch.
Credit for the interview: Oral Sessions Podcast
h/t for the transcription: Wrestling Inc.