There’s just no way that CM Punk’s UFC career won’t be controversial. However many times he fights, however well he does, he’s going to draw detractors and admirers from all sides. It’s the nature of celebrity, especially when you’re cashing in that celebrity status to do something that very few other people would be afforded the opportunity to do. People who love him are going to talk about the balls it takes to go out there and train to start a non-scripted fighting career, haters are going to talk about all the talent they feel is more deserving of his spot on the roster.
It’s that latter group that Punk wanted to address head on in a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, and when asked about his personality and how making the leap to MMA fit in with his character, he had a very specific message to those fans questioning his status in the UFC:
Yeah, but I don’t think of it as a leap. The people who are mad or think this is an embarrassment to the UFC or the sport? I used to not be able to ride a bike. So when I was learning how to ride a bike, does Lance Armstrong come up to me and say: Who the f— are you, trying to learn how to ride a bike? My attitude is punk rock across the board: Oh, you don’t think I should do it? Well, I’m going to do it and I’m going to try to be the best I f—ing can. At the end of the day, it’s about me and not anyone else. But, yeah, I used to not be able to read or walk or ride a bike or drive a car. Those people who are down on me trying this? Shut the f— up and don’t watch the fight.
He also spoke about some of the things he enjoys more about MMA than wrestling, like the honesty:
You wonder, Did you really punch me in the face? You say it was an accident but I know you and I think you’re a p—– and I’ve seen you do this to other people. Are you doing this to me? Did you kick me in the ribs as hard as you can? No, no I would never do that! In [MMA] I know the other guy is going to try and kick me in the ribs as hard as he can. No, not maliciously. But I’ve been in the [wrestling] ring with plenty of guys where I’m wondering, Is he is trying hurt me? Is he mad because he is losing? I don’t have to deal with that bulls— any more. It’s a godsend.
And the routine:
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.
There’s a lot more in there, about his favorite fighter (Dan Henderson), how his skills are developing, and even a potential nugget of info on just when we might see him in the cage, as Punk talked about visualizing being in the Octagon in 8-12 months. So, check the whole thing out.
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