WWE pro-wrestling star CM Punk (aka Phillip Jack Brooks) announced tonight during the UFC 181 pay-per-view event that he’s embarking on a new career as a mixed martial arts fighter and will be making his debut in the UFC’s Octagon.
Punk, who has the distinction of having the longest WWE title reign in modern history from November of 2011 to January of 2013, retired from the ring earlier this year and had been known to have a keen interest in MMA.
He claims to have a background in kempo karate and it’s well documented that he’s been training brazilian jiu-jitsu for a number of years at the Gracie Academy, even appearing on the ‘Gracie Breakdown’ series.
According to the 35 year-old it’s likely that he will be fighting at middleweight when he makes his debut, though welterweight is a possibility and he’ll do a weight-cut to be sure what the right division is for his debut.
As for a training camp, he says he’s put some feelers out, but he’s still to make a final decision and expects to make an announcement soon.
At this stage there’s no indication of when he’ll make his debut or who it will be against.
What we do know however is that Dana White doesn’t intend to give him the same kind of treatment as the last WWE superstar to cross over to the promotion, Brock Lesnar, enjoyed – meaning that he’ll have to start at the bottom rung of the ladder rather than being fast-tracked to a title shot.