On Wednesday, the pro wrestling world was rocked when they learned that superstar CM Punk had decided to walk away from the WWE. Just a few days prior to walking out and leaving the promotion, Punk had discussed the possibility with Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com.
During that interview, CM Punk also discussed a potential career in mixed martial arts and the UFC, which had led to plenty of discussion about how he could succeed in a real fight.
What many may not know is that Punk has spent years training with Rener Gracie of the legendary Gracie Jiu Jitsu family, and he also has extensive training in stand up — reportedly muay thai is his striking specialty.
Sure, there is the age factor — CM Punk turned 35 years old last October — but Gracie believes that the pro wrestler has plenty of potential to succeed in the sport of MMA.
Here is what Rener Gracie told FOX Sports:
“With the little time he’s had with me spread out over so many years, he’s made remarkable progress,” Gracie told FOX Sports. “There’s no telling how successful he would be if he devoted himself full time to the training.”
Punk, whose real name is Phillip Brooks, is 35 years old. But Gracie doesn’t believe that would stand in his way if he wanted to compete in MMA. The legendary BJJ trainer isn’t sure if Punk will go out and win a UFC title, but he thinks he could “climb the ladder.”
“He can go get some fights, knock some fools out and choke some dudes,” Gracie said.
With those years of legitimate training, there is no reason to believe Punk would not be able to transition and do well.
It will be interesting to see if CM Punk ever gets the chance to prove his skills in a legitimate MMA promotion, but if the UFC is wise they would capitalize on this opportunity to bring Punk on board and have him enter the octagon.
Even if Punk were to be a cast member on an upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter, the ratings and money that he could bring the promotion would be well worth the risk.