MMA glove close up in the octagon

What Next For CM Punk After UFC 203?

It’s been more than a week since the big UFC 203 pay per view event but the biggest talking point is still the debut of former WWE superstar CM Punk who suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Mickey Gall.
The announcement of Punk signing with UFC received mixed reactions with many MMA purists saying that he didn’t belong and would instantly get torn to shreds if he ever stepped into the Octagon. Well it turns out those predictions were correct.

Let’s make one thing clear, this was not a publicity stunt by Punk (real name Phil Brooks). His intentions were always serious and to pick up a big win on his UFC. After signing his contract in 2014 he has spent the following 18 months training with Roufusport in Milwaukee day in and day out, the only exceptions were Punks subsequent shoulder and back injuries.

After all the training and UFC President Dana White intentionally looking for a fighter with a similar experience level to Punk, this really should have been a more even fight. Although anybody betting on UFC 203 would have found that Gall was the bookies favourite. Mickey Gall was 2-0 ahead of UFC 203 but is younger with a longer experience in martial arts, Gall is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu while Punk is a white.
Once the fight started Punk went storming in towards Gall was able to takedown Punk, delivering a number of crucial headshots on the floor. In an attempt to escape the punches, Punk gave up his back which allowed Mickey to lock in the rear-naked choke (how Gall has won all of his matches to date) and although Punk was able to escape the submission a couple of times the outcome was academic.

Following the event, UFC President Dana White claimed that signing Punk wasn’t an experiment (although it certainly seems like having him on the card boosted the PPV buy rate) but he also thinks that Punk’s next fight probably shouldn’t be in the UFC.
That is a very interesting statement to make when it is believed that Punk’s contract is a multi-fight deal. However one has to appreciate the tricky scenario White is now in as it will be very tricky finding another opponent for Punk, had he won convincingly it would be a very different scenario. There is not currently anyone on the UFC roster who Punk would be equipped to face so that would mean searching the lower leagues for another hungry rookie.

It seems more likely that Punk will get cut from his current UFC deal, but that would free him up to a possible deal with the lower leagues, where someone like Bellator would be foolish not to offer him a deal. It may be the best place for Punk to hone his skills, if he is serious about the new career move, and gradually work his way back onto a UFC card once he has earned a respectful MMA record.

As for Mickey Gall, the young upstart now has a 3-0 record and called out Sage Northcutt straight after beating Punk. UFC fans are already salivating at the thought of that potential fight.