At this point, it would feel pretty petty to continue knocking CM Punk’s MMA debut at UFC 203. The man known by some as Phil Brooks was clearly out of his league against even a relatively inexperienced young gun like Mickey Gall, but he also made a buttload of money and earned the respect of (at least some) of his WWE peers for having the balls to do it, so what else is there to say? Sometimes you eat the bar and sometimes the bar eats you.
Of course, the idea that Punk would be granted another fight in the UFC after his lackluster performance has become the only thing keeping this story alive at this point. WWE legend Bill Goldberg said it would be “blasphemy,” Ric Flair said that Punk should simply try “something else,” and even UFC President Dana White seemed iffy about the idea of allowing him to compete again (not that a ton of other organizations wouldn’t be willing to give him a chance).
In a recent interview with TMZ Sports (:39 of the above video), however, it seems that White may be backpedalling on his earlier assertions of Punk. When asked about the former WWE champion’s chances of receiving another shot in the UFC, White was surprisingly optimistic.
He called me the night of the fight. We talked, he was on his way home. I told him to go spend some time with his wife, live like a normal person for a little while, and then we’ll get on the phone and talk about what’s next for him.
While certainly not a ringing endorsement, it’s definitely a change of tune from White’s previous claims about Punk’s chances of getting another fight in the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization. Based on his performance at UFC 203, one would assume that Punk would need at least a couple more years of training before he’d even be close to competitive, but at 37, the clock is already ticking on his potential as the next UFC superstar (or even one with a winning record).