When the UFC announced that it had signed CM Punk–Phil Brooks–to a deal, the internet near exploded. While it seems like most MMA fans are interested and excited to see whether the former WWE star can become a competitive fighter, not everyone’s on board with the UFC’s decision.
By now, you’ve likely heard several reasons why purists don’t believe that Punk belongs in the UFC. For one, he’s never fought in a pro bout before, so critics have argued he has no business fighting for the biggest MMA promotion in the world (usually Ben Askren’s named is dropped here, since he was a former Bellator champ, who UFC boss man Dana White argued didn’t have a record worthy of the UFC). Two, by all accounts, Punk doesn’t even have that much martial arts / fighting experience under his belt altogether. James Toney was brought in to fight Randy Couture with no MMA experience, but he’s a ridiculously decorated and talented boxer.
While critics have a had a field day with the signing, by all accounts, Punk is training extremely hard for his upcoming debut. Barring some unforeseen development, Brooks will fight for the UFC; it’s going to happen.
Well, recently the former pro-wrestler spoke to Sports Illustrated about his new career, and while doing so, he fired this comment at his critics:
Yeah, but I don’t think of it as a leap. The people who are mad or think this is an embarrassment to the UFC or the sport? I used to not be able to ride a bike. So when I was learning how to ride a bike, does Lance Armstrong come up to me and say: Who the f— are you, trying to learn how to ride a bike? My attitude is punk rock across the board: Oh, you don’t think I should do it? Well, I’m going to do it and I’m going to try to be the best I f—ing can. At the end of the day, it’s about me and not anyone else. But, yeah, I used to not be able to read or walk or ride a bike or drive a car. Those people who are down on me trying this? Shut the f— up and don’t watch the fight.
Yes. There’s always that option…Regardless of whether you think Punk belongs in the UFC or not, from a business perspective, chances are the move’s going to line the ZUFFA coffers. Case in point, Punk is talking to SI about his fighting career, multiple months out from when he’s supposed to make his debut. And this is after an initial round of media coverage, which had Brooks appearing on multiple, mainstream shows etc.