Former WWE champion and decorated pro-wrestler CM Punk discusses his brief stint in the UFC. After wrestling for fifteen years and nearly a decade under Vince McMahon, he voiced his thoughts about his transition to mixed martial arts. Speaking with Renee Plaquette on her Oral Sessions podcast, he was contrite about signing up with the company in his late 30’s.
Although he planned to transfer to the sweeter science of combat sports back in 2011 when his contract ended, he resigned with the WWE. He ended up becoming the WWE Champion for more than a year and a half, clocking in 434 straight days as the top dog. Punk eventually left the organization citing creative control differences with management and felt he did not get enough respect despite accomplishing so much.
Per Firstsportz.com, he was quoted on the podcast that he took a chance at fighting where he took advantage of using his name to draw a large audience and be able to make a killing doing so.
“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 don’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,” Punk recalled. “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.”
Despite signing with the UFC, he did make $500,000 in his loss to Mickey Gall at UFC 203 in 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. This was the venue in which Punk walked out on the WWE following his Royal Rumble loss in January 2014. His 2018 loss to Mike Jackson was an estimated $503,500 paycheck, with a $3,500 incentive. Over a million dollars worth in two defeats sounds quite good for someone who underwent a crash course training procedure dating back to January 2015, a month after signing up to fight in the Octagon.
There have been talks where All Elite Wrestling brass have been expressing interest in Punk to join the company while the WWE is also packaging a return offer to their former champion. A good storyline and price are the two things to get him back in the ring sooner than later.