CM Punk may be done with the UFC but that doesn’t mean he’s lost the respect of UFC president Dana White.
It was White who inked Punk to a multi-fight deal back in 2014 after the former WWE superstar decided to give up professional wrestling and try a new career in mixed martial arts.
More than a year of training led to his professional debut, which ended with Punk being choked out by Mickey Gall in less than three minutes back at UFC 203 in 2016.
Punk made his second appearance in the UFC this past weekend where he lost by a lopsided decision to Mike Jackson in what is now expected to be the final fight of his career inside the Octagon.
Despite two incredibly one-sided losses, White says Punk should still be revered for taking a shot at fighting in the UFC even if things didn’t go his way and he doesn’t think very highly of anybody who disagrees with him.
“This guy was actually a huge star at WWE, came over here and put it all on the line twice in front of the whole world. Now if people can’t respect that, then you’re a f–king idiot anyways,” White said about Punk when speaking to the MMA Roasted podcast.
“You can’t tell somebody don’t do the thing that you want to do the most. CM Punk wanted to be a UFC fighter. He wanted to come and he wanted to fight here. He wanted it so bad that he f–king dropped everything and focused on nothing but mixed martial arts. Next time you talk to Duke Roufus or [Anthony] Pettis or any of those guys, talk about how this guy was driving back and forth from Chicago to their place and would drive for hours to come out and train and would train forever and they all ended up respecting him. The guy went in there and put it all on the line.”
The odds were definitely stacked against Punk as he tried to transition into MMA in his late 30’s with no formal martial arts training prior to his UFC debut.
“Tell me one guy that can walk into the UFC at 38 years old and compete after he’s been training for f–king months,” White said. “He was just a regular guy. The only reason Brock Lesnar did as well as he did is because he was a real wrestler. The guy actually came from collegiate wrestling and he was one of the best.”
Obviously White admires Punk for taking a shot even if he missed both times he attempted to get the job done.
That being said, White says two times is enough and Punk won’t be getting a third opportunity to prove himself in the UFC.
“I don’t think he really wants a third chance,” White said. “Hopefully after this last fight, the guy he’s got balls and he’s got guts and he went on the world stage and he gave it two shots. A lot of people want to talk s–t on CM Punk, get in there, come on over. Fight one of these guys. It’s easy to f–king sit in your living room and talk s–t. Come in here.”
Do you think CM Punk will fight again outside of the UFC? Sound off in the comments and let us know.