Ben Askren, who works regularly with CM Punk at the Roufusport gym in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, recently spoke about Punk’s skills as a MMA fighter, noting that “he’s got a long way to go.”
Askren, who works as the wrestling coach at the gym, spoke about Punk’s transition from WWE performer to combat sports athlete during a recent appearance on “Submission Radio.”
“You know what, he’s very disciplined, he’s very dedicated, and he works really hard,” said Askren on the show, which you can listen to above. “So it’s a pleasure having him in the gym, and obviously he’s got a long way to go because he started out of nowhere, right? Being a professional wrestler he didn’t really have a background coming into mixed martial arts. So he is getting a lot better, but he’s still got a ways to go.”
Askren was against Punk getting a free trip to begin his career in the biggest MMA company on the planet, stands by his comments, but points out that it’s a criticism of the UFC, not Punk.
“Well those were my honest thoughts about it,” said Askren. “And I think those thoughts don’t really change; and that’s not really a criticism of CM Punk, that was a criticism of the UFC and what they’re doing. That being said, CM Punk he had a great opportunity to do something that he wanted to do and it worked out really well for him, and now he gets to compete at something he wants to do. So for him it’s all good, but you know my jokes stand and I stand behind those statements still.”