CM Punk Speaks On Backlash From MMA Fans & Batista’s Advice For Him

CM Punk recently spoke to Yahoo Sports about his new career as an MMA fighter. and revealed some advice he got from fellow former WWE champ and MMA enthusiast Batista. Punk, who has yet to make his octagon debut, currently has an 8-fight deal with the UFC.

“Part of my reason for most of the decisions I make in life is I don’t want to have regrets,” Punk said. “I talked to Dave Bautista [an ex-WWE wrestler who has one pro MMA fight] and he’s a great guy to talk to about this kind of stuff because he did the same thing. He said, ‘You’ve got to do it. You’ve got to chase your dream. You’re going to wake up one day and realize that you were presented an opportunity and you could have done it, but didn’t.’ So it’s a big reason.”

Back in 2012, Punk had positive things to say about Batista leaving WWE to enter the world of competitive MMA:

“It was something that he wanted to do. He loves it so he put his mind to it and did it, and I think that amazing,” Punk told The MMA Hour. “I don’t think anybody can criticize that. He has no delusions of grandeur. He’s not trying to get a big, fat UFC contract. He’s not trying to coast on his name from the WWE. He’s just fighting because he wanted to experience it.”

Related: Mickey Gall On Possible CM Punk Fight: “I’m Gonna Hurt Him Early”

CM Punk also tackled the issue of backlash from MMA fans in his Yahoo Sports interview this week. Punk says he loves the sport of MMA, and that fans should be more patient with him while he trains for his delayed UFC debut.

“The people who don’t like the UFC and want to see it fail are always going to find the negatives,” he said. “You hear them. They say, ‘Oh, they didn’t do this,’ or ‘They’re not doing this right.’ The people who like it are going to buy the pay-per-view, and I want to respect them and the other fighters and this sport by being as prepared as I can. But there’s always going to be people who don’t like it or who have a problem with it.”

“I love the sport, and I have for a long time,” he added. “I’d stay up late and watch the Pride New Year’s Eve shows. I watch all the UFC pay-per-views. I’m a fan. I love this stuff. Literally, I looked at it, and I said, ‘That’s something I want to do.’”

Punk is expected to make his UFC debut at either UFC 199 or UFC 200.

Related: CM Punk Confirms 8-Fight UFC Deal, Talks In-Depth About UFC Debut & His First Opponent