Former pro wrestling star CM Punk will get a second crack at a UFC career when he takes on Mike Jackson at UFC 225 next month. After his abysmal debut performance against Mickey Gall (getting choked out in mere minutes), it was a bit of a surprise that the UFC would give Punk another chance. Then again, his name alone brings in extra PPV buys, as people are interested in watching Punk attempt an MMA career.
Longtime UFC commentator Joe Rogan, who has never been shy about voicing a negative opinion about the UFC when necessary, recently talked about Punk on his “Joe Rogan Experience – MMA Show” podcast and blasted the decision to put his fight on the main PPV card on June 9.
“It shouldn’t even be on the ‘Tuesday Night Contender’ show. It should be in some amateur event somewhere,” Rogan said. “That’s really what they are. They’re guys learning how to compete. They’re in the first fight on the pay-per-view. That’s **king crazy.”
Rogan also criticized whoever made the decision to let Punk fight Gall in the first place:
“He’s now fighting a fighter who’s commensurate in talent and there’s nothing wrong with being a beginner in martial arts. But there’s something wrong with thinking you can be a beginner and fight Mickey Gall. It was a foolish venture. My approach to it was this is going to be a very good lesson for people who are fans of positive thinking and they think that’s enough. That **t is not enough. If you weigh 110 pounds, you can positive think your way to the bank, Francis Ngannou’s still going to punch your brains out. There’s just no way around it.”
“A guy who really has very little experience in martial arts and has rudimentary control of his body…that’s what I saw when I saw him training. When I saw him training I thought ‘oh my god this guy’s gonna get killed’. He belongs here [against Mike Jackson].”
Rogan continued to say that Punk approached the cage against Gall looking like he was preparing for a “pro wrestling fight.” At least Jackson is a more appropriate matchup for Punk, in terms of MMA experience. Jackson is 0-1 so far in his young career, also losing to Gall in his professional debut. Someone will be picking up their first win at UFC 225, it’s just a matter of who.
Despite Rogan’s objections, it’s important to remember that the UFC is a business and they make money by selling PPVs. When someone like CM Punk is fighting, more PPVs get sold. The fact that Punk made $500,000 for his first fight is a clear sign that the UFC is aware of his drawing power.