December 8, 2014
Before we get started, I’m a fan of mixed martial arts. I’m also a fan of wrestling. So you can imagine my initial feelings when I read the news that broke the Internet on December 6.
Let’s understand the situation. Phil “CM Punk” Brooks was one of the top wrestlers in the WWE. He abruptly left in January due to undisclosed reasons. No one knew why he left, and he then decided to tell his side of the story.
Brooks made claims on “The Art of Wrestling” podcast, bashing the WWE and its medical staff over treatment and booking decisions. The constant setbacks took their toll, and Punk was fired on his wedding day. WWE’s Vince McMahon acknowledged this two days after the podcast aired.
Fast forward to December 6. UFC 181 was in high gear. Battles for the Welterweight and Lightweight titles headlined the card, but the news that shook the MMA landscape could change everything.
— UFC (@ufc) December 7, 2014
Brooks announced he will fight in 2015 inside the octagon. Phil Brooks is now a fighter in the UFC. Let that statement sink in, wrestling fans.
At 36, this will likely be Brooks’ only shot in the UFC. He signed a multi-fight deal, but terms remain undisclosed. It’s unclear what weight class Brooks will fight under. He doesn’t even have a team yet: no coaching staff, no team.
What does Brooks have? He’s actually studied jiu-jitsu and kempo under Rener Gracie of the famed Gracie family. It’s not like he’s going in as someone who’s done absolutely nothing to enter MMA.
Brooks also is a fan; this is something he wants to do, as he stated in a press conference (Warning: NSFW)
However, fans and the world want to know the answer to one question. Is Phil Brooks, CM Punk, the right man to enter the Octagon?
Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait and see next year whether Brooks succeeds. He wouldn’t be the first wrestler to step into the MMA world. And he certainly won’t be the last.
The most infamous name of wrestler/MMA fighter is Brock Lesnar, who became the UFC Heavyweight Champion for a significant run. Wrestler-turned-actor Dave Batista also entered MMA for a short stint.
Regardless of who face Brooks, it will be quite the water cooler discussion among MMA fans.
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