One of the main talking points about CM Punk’s signing has been who the UFC will put him up against.
Several established fighters across multiple divisions have called out the former pro-wrestler, but Dana White has suggested that he will instead be brought up slowly and matched against fighters with similar experience.
While there will obviously be a lack of marketable fighters that fit the criteria, there is a certain celebrity turned MMA fighter that has been calling out CM Punk, up to a year before that UFC deal. Jason David Frank, an actor and fighter best known for his role as Tommy Oliver on the hit Power Rangers franchise, once again called Punk out after the announcement:
I have to do this and wake up the UFC,” Frank wrote. “I like CM, this is just a professional call out again. This is my life and I deserve a shot at this. Haters hate, winners win. It’s a great fight, embrace, don’t hate.
Frank, who is a lifelong martial artist that has competed in MMA multiple times, says he’s willing to drop down to middleweight to take on the former WWE superstar.
Should Dana White sign Frank as Punk’s first opponent? Well, why the hell not? Here are a few reasons why they should put on CM Punk vs. Green Ranger.
JASON DAVID FRANK FITS THE “1-0, 1-1, 2-1” MOLD THE UFC IS LOOKING FOR
Dana White has gone on record saying that they will match Phil ‘CM Punk’ Brooks against someone who is at the “1-0, 1-1, 2-1” range, as they want to treat him like a normal debuting fighter. He hasn’t competed in a few years due to film duties, but Frank fits the bill as he is currently 1-0 as a professional after going 4-0 as an amateur.
This goes without saying, but certainly more people will tune in to watch a Power Ranger compete against CM Punk than some random unknown 1-1 guy they can bring in.
CM PUNK IN THE UFC IS PURELY A SPECTACLE ANYWAY
Let’s be honest here. CM Punk being brought into the UFC is purely a spectacle, and it’s possibly the biggest one they’ve ever put on in modern MMA as well. There’s just no way around it, and you can’t even try to put lipstick on this pig.
This isn’t close to the time they brought in NCAA Division I wrestling champ Brock Lesnar, or the time they signed boxing world champion James Toney. This isn’t even close to picking up a then 3-1 Kimbo Slice, who had to go through the TUF house before making his UFC debut.
This is a celebrity with no competitive background in Martial Arts, making his debut at a pay-per-view event of the biggest Mixed Martial Arts organization in the world. This move isn’t much different to signing BJJ blue belt Ashton Kutcher to a UFC deal. And sure, Punk could be dead serious about training and learning MMA, but he is being brought in solely for those fans — and their wallets — that will be following him to the UFC.
Let’s not pretend this was made as a legitimate sporting event. This is purely for fun and money. While there is surely nothing wrong with these types of match-ups, putting him against Jason David Frank adds multitudes to that ‘fun’ factor.
Punk’s debut is nothing but a spectacle. With Frank as his opponent, they can make it an even bigger one.
Now I know what some of you purists are thinking: “Why ‘tarnish the sport’s image further’ by signing a freaking Power Ranger?” Well, let’s also not forget that…
JASON DAVID FRANK WOULD BE THE MORE LEGITIMATE SIGNING HERE
If the UFC does put on this bout, you can’t really complain that Frank would be ‘making a bigger mockery’ of the sport, as he is by far the much more legitimate signing in this scenario. Not only is he a more legit fighter than Punk, he would likely be at par, or even be a more decorated martial artist, than whichever random debuting fighter they think Brooks can beat on his first outing.
Not only is Frank 5-0 (1-0 as a pro) in MMA with every single bout finished in the first round, this lifelong martial artist also has the credentials to back it up. He holds a 7th degree Karate black belt, and as one of the most decorated fighters in this discipline, he has been inducted to their Hall of Fame. He also has a BJJ purple belt, and has conducted multiple training camps with the UFC vets such as Melvin Guillard and others.
NOT ONLY IS IT MORE FUN, IT WILL LIKELY STILL BE A COMPETITIVE MATCH UP
CM Punk is the cash cow here. So while you don’t want to put him in a squash match against a random bum if you’re the UFC, you wouldn’t want to put him in with someone that will surely destroy him easily either. You want something that in the middle, and I believe a bout against Frank falls under that category.
CM Punk is 6’2 and said to be around 215 lbs. Jason David Frank, on the other hand, is 5’11” and has competed both as a heavyweight and a light heavyweight while walking at the same weight.
Their credentials aren’t comparable, but Frank is slightly older and hasn’t competed as he has focused on his acting career during the past few years. Frank has had 1 professional, and 4 amateur MMA bouts under his belt, and every single one of those bouts happened back in 2010.
In that single year, Frank had a total cage time of just under 5 minutes. While that is certainly valuable experience that Punk doesn’t have, he isn’t exactly light years ahead in terms of actual in-cage competition.
Frank would be the better and more decorated fighter on paper at this point in time, but so would any legitimate MMA fighter you put against Brooks. There are all the anecdotes of his natural talent and all the promises of dedicating himself to work with one of the many world class MMA camps that are available to him. Couple that with all the resources at his disposal, and it’s conceivable that Punk bridges enough of that gap to make this a competitive and even winnable match-up.
We’re basically getting a similar level of competitiveness to any random 1-0 fighter they can sign, but against Frank, you turn it into a bout that would bring even more attention and more eyeballs to the sport.
THEY SIGNED PUNK TO GET ATTENTION. ADD FRANK AND THEY TAKE IT TO ANOTHER LEVEL
Speaking of bringing in eyeballs — Both Phil Brooks and Jason David Frank can bring in new audiences on their own, but when you turn it into CM Punk vs. the Green Ranger, you truly make it an exponentially bigger attraction. It goes from drawing in curious fans who want to see if they can fight, to bringing in more casuals interested in seeing who would actually win in a real contest.
This isn’t even the ‘freakshow’ type of bout on the level of Hong Man Choi and Minowaman — those types get hardcore fight fans talking. This is a display that the mainstream audience would eat up.
If you’ve accepted the fact that they’re bringing in Punk purely as a spectacle to break into untapped markets, why not make it even better? Why not bring in that perfect dance partner who helps widen the spread of the very same goal?
Embrace the freakshow aspect you already have. Make it even more fun by putting on CM Punk vs. Green Ranger.
Hell, the only thing that can top that is if you make them walk out to Cult of Personality and the Dragonzord theme song.
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