Not many people know the name of Phillip Jack Brooks. That’s because he is much better known as his fighter name of CM Punk.
CM Punk made a huge name for himself with the WWE. There, he was the WWE Champion at one point for 434 days, which still to this day is the sixth-longest title reign in history of the famed professional wrestling league.
Right when he was near the peak of his WWE career, though, CM Punk made a surprise announcement — he would join the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and enter the mixed martial arts world.
He isn’t the first former WWE superstar to enter the octagon. Brock Lesnar was probably the most famous, and also the most successful of them all.
Because of Lesnar’s success and CM Punk’s popularity, many people had high hopes for him in the octagon. But, that success never panned out for CM Punk — at all.
He had an awful UFC career, not one that both he and the UFC management had thought would happen when he made the jump to mixed martial arts. People were very excited for CM Punk to enter the ring, and UFC betting odds were ringing as a result of it.
Let’s take a look back at CM Punk’s awful UFC career.
The announcement of CM Punk coming to UFC was made at the UFC 181 event card. There, it was announced that CM Punk had officially signed a contract with UFC, and it would span multiple fights.
To make fans even more excited, Brooks said he would fight under his CM Punk moniker, staying true to the persona that got him as far as he did in the world of wrestling.
Just one month after making the announcement that he’d be fighting in the UFC, CM Punk began training with the Roufusports MMA Academy under the tutelage of Duke Roufus. He even moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, so that he could be more dedicated to his training. He was doing everything that a dedicated MMA fighter needs to do to be successful.
CM Punk announced in 2015 that he would be competing in the welterweight division in the UFC, sparking a lot of rumors and intrigue as to who his first opponent would be.
Injuries Stop Him
His training came to an abrupt halt in October of 2015, though, when his trainer said that CM Punk suffered an injury to his shoulder while training. That would delay his debut in the UFC octagon until 2016.
Early that year, in February, the official announcement came — CM Punk would face off against Mickey Gall for his first professional MMA fight.
Once again, though, that was put on hold due to another injury. This time, it was a herniated disc in his back that required him to undergo surgery.
Despite that surgery, though, CM Punk was still able to eventually make his debut fight against Gall at UFC 203, which was held on September 10, 2016. The hype was so high for that fight, as MMA fans from around the world were hoping for fireworks.
They got fireworks early in that fight, but they certainly didn’t come from CM Punk himself. Early in the first round, Gall took down CM Punk and ended up submitting him quickly with a rear naked choke. For losing so quickly, CM Punk ended up earning a hefty $500,000.
CM Punk didn’t enter the octagon again for almost two more years. His second fight came on June 9, 2018, at UFC 225. He was fighting in front of a hometown crowd in Chicago, so naturally the emotions were high.
On that card, CM Punk took on Mike Jackson. He began the fight with much more promise than the first one, landing some punches and taking Jackson down. That didn’t last very long, though.
CM Punk fatigued a lot in just the second round, which led to Jackson dominating the rest of the way. While CM Punk was able to last all three rounds, he lost to Jackson in a unanimous decision.
That’s All Folks
Even though there was a lot of excitement for CM Punk’s multi-fight contract with UFC, following his loss to Jackson, CM Punk wouldn’t fight in the UFC again. Immediately following that second and last bout, Dana White, the president of UFC, said CM Punk probably wouldn’t fit in the octagon again. He even urged CM Punk to call it quits.
And that’s exactly what he did. Tons of hype and tons of hope resulted in only two fights in the UFC — both pathetic losses. In 2018, CM Punk signed with the Cage Fury Fighting Championship, but he would only serve as a commentator. He wouldn’t fight again.