There’s two big questions when it comes to former pro wrestling great CM Punk‘s eventual arrival in the UFC: when is his debut fight going to happen, and who is he going to fight? The first one is big because Punk (real name Phil Brooks) is arriving in the big show with zero mixed-martial-arts experience. He’s never had a real fight, amateur or professional. With that in mind, the question of who he will fight looms. How can the UFC find someone appropriate for a 0-0 fighter?
They either have to look through their list of the worst fighters on their roster, and even those guys are generally killers compared to someone fresh like Punk. Or they could get inventive and look outside their organization. One possibility is bringing back one of their retired fighters. If that’s a route they’re willing to take, Chris Leben wants them to know he’s down.
Leben has some things working for him in his quest for this fight: he’s a fan favorite who was a part of The Ultimate Fighter season that literally took mixed martial arts mainstream. He brawls in entertaining fashion. And he’s good enough to be a legit challenge but not so good that CM Punk would have absolutely no chance.
Unfortunately, he hasn’t exactly kept his nose clean over the past few years. He tested positive for oxycodone and oxymorphone back in 2011 and admitted to having a serious painkiller addiction. And over the summer of 2015 he was arrested after trying to break into his ex-wife’s home with a gun. He was sentenced to 120 days in jail and three years probation over the incident.
Considering the flack the UFC has received over their fighters being involved in domestic violence and Leben’s uneven behavior, they may be leery of putting Leben in the spotlight against a high-profile opponent like CM Punk. But it is certainly an interesting match-up possibility, one of many I’m sure will be considered in the quest for Punk’s first opponent.
(Via Bloody Elbow)