CM Punk has finally settled on a training camp as he gets ready to attempt a transition from professional wrestling to mixed martial arts ahead of his UFC debut sometime next year.
“[CM Punk has] now picked a training camp,” UFC president Dana White revealed on FOX Sports Live. “I’m pretty sure he’s going to be training with Anthony Pettis, the 155-pound champion and his team. We’re just going to see how he progresses in training and then we’ll go from there.”
Roufusport is ran by former kickboxing champion turned respected coach Duke Roufus who’s most famous protige is Anthony Pettis, though he’s also trained the likes of Alan Belcher, Erik Koch, Ben Rothwell and Ben Askren, and was recently seen coaching alongside Pettis on The Ultimate Fighter Season 20.
The fight camp recently came under fire with accusations from fighters who’ve trained their in the past like Rose Namajunas, Pat Barry and Eric Schafer amongst others that there was an issue with bullying there, though others have spoken out in defense of the gym since.
That makes it an interesting choice by CM Punk given that he had previously acknowledged that one of his primary concerns when picking a fight camp was to avoid being singled out by fighters who would actively try to hurt him due to his star status and lack of MMA experience.
Unlike another former WWE superstar turned fighter, Brock Lesnar, CM Punk does not have any amateur wrestling credentials, but he has been training Brazilian Jui-Jitsu on-and-off over the past few years at the Gracie Academy and claims to have a background in Kempo Karate.
At this stage there’s no indication of when his first fight in the UFC will be, or who it will be against, but given his lack of experience it’s likely to be deep into 2015 before he’s ready to set foot in the Octagon.