Thirty-seven-year-old former WWE superstar CM Punk (real name Phil Brooks) will have to undergo back surgery which means his UFC debut has been put on hold for now.
Following an impressive 45-second submission of Mike Jackson at UFC Fight Night 82 last weekend, UFC newcomer Mickey Gall (2-0) had been named as Punk’s first opponent. Gall will now have to wait for the former pro wrestler to heal up.
“My back has always bugged me,” Punk told MMAFighting.com. “Figured it was just wrestling sh*t. Turns out it was.”
The years of abuse Punk put his body through in pro wrestling can’t be underestimated. Now try to become a UFC fighter in a short amount of time on top of that. Good luck with that. There’s a reason more people don’t succeed at doing both at a high level.
“It got bad enough to the point where I couldn’t do anything the week before I went to train with the New Jersey Devils last month,” he continued. “One day I could manage, the next day I couldn’t. I’ve been in agony for almost a month. Chiropractor, acupuncture, massage, cryotherapy … nothing worked.”
Punk will be out of commission four-to-six weeks recovering from surgery, but he feels this is just a bump in the road and he still wants to fight at least once in 2016.
But how will this near 40-year-old man hold it together long enough to have some semblance of an MMA career? Or will it be one and done for him in the UFC Octagon, if he ever makes it there at all? From what we saw of Mickey Gall in his UFC debut, Punk is certainly going to have his hands full.
Watch Gall’s first-round submission victory in his pro MMA debut from Nov. 2015: