CM Punk On The Moment He Realized He Wanted To Be An MMA Fighter, UFC vs. WWE

Former WWE Superstar CM Punk spoke to Sports Illustrated’s Extra Mustard blog about his history with WWE, training for his UFC debut and much more. Here are some highlights of what he said about:

His WWE Past Following Him To UFC:

“I get it. I’m a goal-oriented person and instead of focusing on the past, I’d rather focus on the future. But I understand that I have this gigantic fan base from almost a different life. And it would be foolish to ignore that. So, I accept it. I’d be crazy to think I could ignore and turn my back on it. That would be wacky. At the same time, I don’t want to dwell on the past.”

What He’s Learned About MMA So Far:

“I don’t think I’ve learned much that I didn’t already know—apart from technique. It’s not like the first day I got hit in the head and said, ‘This is actually hard.’ I know it was hard and I knew what went into it.”

Comparing His WWE Schedule To MMA Training:

“Just training. What an easy job, right? It’s way better for me. I was burnt out on traveling, so over it. People think I’m crazy, living in Chicago and driving to Milwaukee every day to train. That’s the easiest thing in the world! Ninety minutes from my front door and I can be in my own bed every night? It’s a different lifestyle and it’s done me wonders. Amazing. I love it.”

The Moment He Realized He Wanted To Fight In UFC:

“I’d say there were a lot of little moments. I’d accomplished pretty much all I wanted. I was getting tired of being on the road, tired of getting beat up. Most of the big reasons had to do with my health. Like getting knee surgery and then being told, ‘You need to be in the ring in three weeks.’ I’m like, ‘That’s great. I can suck it up and be the tough guy. But wouldn’t it be smarter to give me six weeks?’ Stuff like that. Again, it’s so cutthroat and political backstage. I always felt like I was fighting. I’d much rather just lock the cage door and really fight it out.”

There’s much more to the interview, including Brock Lesnar paving the way for pro wrestlers transitioning to UFC, what it’s going to take to compete at MMA’s highest level, working with Duke Roufus and more.