CM PUNK simply gained the struggle of a lifetime.
But the struggle of his profession? The 39-year-old former WWE champion is aware of that 19 months after he whiffed on the one punch he threw in a lopsided defeat in his UFC debut, it’s win-or-else in his second bout if he needs to struggle once more for the promotion.
“I definitely do feel that way,” Punk mentioned. “I’m pretty sure I’d feel there would be a lot riding on a fight no matter what number fight it was or if I was coming off a win or loss. But I don’t think anything is guaranteed in life or the UFC. Different people get cut for different reason. But I feel that pressure, for sure.” He felt heavier adversity this week in a Chicago courtroom. Punk (Zero-1) returns to the cage Saturday at UFC 225 on the United Center simply days after a jury cleared him in a defamation lawsuit.
WWE physician Christopher Amann had sued Punk, whose actual title is Phil Brooks, over feedback that he made in a podcast in 2014 during which he criticised WWE docs for failing to diagnose a lump that was a staph an infection. Fellow wrestler Colt Cabana hosted the podcast and likewise was cleared. Punk was cleared of defamation and invasion of privateness.
Punk and his spouse, former WWE sta A.J. Lee, took the stand throughout a gruelling six-day trial that was each emotionally draining and a extreme interruption of his coaching schedule.
“Personally and professionally, the preparation for this fight has been tough,” Punk informed The Associated Press. “It’s just mostly because there’s been a lot of stuff going on. Balancing everything has been more difficult this time around.” Punk give up WWE in January 2014 after a depressing remaining two years and shortly made the gorgeous transfer to UFC. He was sufficient of a marquee attraction that he landed a spot on the UFC 203 card in September 2016.
It was an evening to overlook.
Punk tapped out simply 2:14 into the primary spherical after he was pommeled and choked by Mickey Gall. Punk was on his again lower than 10 seconds into the struggle. Pinned up towards the octagon’s cage, he was unable to get out from beneath Gall, who landed quite a few blows to either side of Punk’s head.
Punk, who works with Duke Roufus and different prime trainers on the Roufusport Martial Arts Academy in Milwaukee, refused to let the dominant defeat crush his spirit. Fellow UFC fighter Gerald Meerschaert tried to maintain Punk’s chin up with a little bit of gallows humour.
“He looks at me and goes, ‘It sucks doesn’t it? But hey, listen, I lost my first three fights,”’ Punk mentioned with amusing. “It was like, well, all right. I don’t know what that feels like. I just lost my first one. It helps put it in perspective.” Punk known as UFC President Dana White and apologised for a efficiency that was mocked on WWE TV.
“I talked to him day after and was just like, ‘If you cut me, you cut me. I get it. Just know that I’m going to fight somewhere else,”’ he mentioned. “That was neither a threat or anything. I was just like, hey I get it. Whatever your decision is, it’s cool with me.” White known as Punk “a good dude” in a January interview with the AP and mentioned the fighter — who lastly testified beneath oath that CM stood for Chick Magnet — would get a second shot. Punk obtained the decision to struggle Mike Jackson (Zero-1) who misplaced his solely profession struggle — to Gall.
“We both fought the same guy, we both lost to the same guy in the first round,” Punk mentioned. “It makes sense in that aspect. We match up closer in age, closer in skill.” Robert Whittaker defends the middleweight title in a rematch towards Yoel Romero in the primary occasion and Holly Holm, who handed Ronda Rousey her first loss, fights Megan Anderson on the primary card.
“The intensity level was definitely dialled up,” Punk mentioned. “I think Duke was pushing me a lot harder this time. Not that he didn’t the first time around. But as you progress, you’re unlocking doors.” Punk had greater than his second bout to deal with main as much as UFC 225. He unloaded the small print of his acrimonious departure from WWE on Cabana’s “Art of Wrestling” podcast and mentioned, amongst a listing of complaints, the corporate pressured him to return to the ring following surgical procedures, mentioned Amann misdiagnosed a staph an infection in his again, and concussion signs had been ignored. Amann filed swimsuit in February 2015 and the matter dragged till this week. Punk was dropped at tears on the stand as he described the bodily and private breakdowns he suffered as he wrestled his remaining match within the 2014 Royal Rumble. “I didn’t think I would get as emotional as I did, but having to watch myself get a concussion, then listen to people on both sides and hear their versions of stories were all consistent,” he mentioned. “’Oh yeah, we all knew he had a concussion.’ I just had to sit there frustrated. Why didn’t you do something? Why didn’t you help me?” Punk, whose 434 days with the WWE championship was the longest reign since Hulk Hogan within the 1980s, had grown deflated on the highway, sad with the grind and accidents that continued to pile up when he walked out.
“I was crying out for help. I wasn’t finding it,” he mentioned. “I really needed to focus on me. Some people want to say it’s dramatic, but I watched friends in wrestling turn to drugs and alcohol and eventually die because they can’t get the help that they need. I had to force myself to do it and step back. I’m not the one to generally ask for help. So when I finally was doing it, that should have alarmed a lot of people. But it didn’t. I was just one of the cattle.” He hopes the bags from his earlier life is over and Saturday evening in his residence metropolis is a brand new web page in solidifying his UFC future.
“It’s a step forward in the future, toward all the stuff I wanted to get away from,” he mentioned.