When Phil ‘CM Punk’ Brooks signed with the UFC several weeks ago he immediately became one of the most talked about athletes on the roster without a single fight on his resume.
Actually a huge amount of the blowback on Brooks’ signing is because he doesn’t have any fights — or any mixed martial arts training as he approaches his expected first fight at some point in 2015.
The moment Brooks was signed fighters started coming out of the woodwork offering to take him on in the Octagon, but UFC president Dana White quickly squashed the idea saying that the former WWE champion would only face someone with equal or slightly more experience. A fighter with one or two fights at most would be the person to challenge Brooks in his debut bout.
Enter former Mighty Morphin Power Ranger, Jason David Frank, who took to Facebook just days after the signing offering to face Brooks in his first fight. Frank might be best known as an action star from television, but in reality he’s a life long martial artist with several amateur mixed martial arts bouts under his belt as well as a one pro bout.
The news about Frank challenging the UFC newcomer eventually made its way to Brooks, who was approached by TMZ while doing a media tour in New York. Brooks laughed off the notion that he would entertain the idea of fighting Frank while more or less denying that he had ever heard about the challenge.
Frank initially offered to face Brooks as a fun way to promote his first fight and something his fans have been discussing for years. When he heard Brooks essentially deny he had ever even heard anything about the offer, Frank was admittedly upset.
He’s naïve to pretend that he doesn’t know about me, which tells me two things — he’s annoyed and doesn’t want to give me more creditability with fans or No. 2, he’s scared.
— Jason David Frank
"I like CM Punk, I think he’s a great guy. I’ve been watching all of his interviews, we’ve been on tour together. I’m not sure why he says he doesn’t know me," Frank said when speaking to FOX Sports. "I’ve done the Wizard World (conventions) with him and even back two years ago he was saying that ‘your fans want to see me fight’ and somebody came to his panel and said something about fighting Jason David Frank and he said ‘oh yeah, the fans are already talking about it’ and then he said ‘which color Power Ranger is he?" so he knows who I am.
"Then in the TMZ thing he says ‘I didn’t know about this, I only know he’s the Green Power Ranger’ so it’s like dude, you do know me. Acknowledge that you know me, whether this is going to happen or not."
A video posted in the initial challenge from a few weeks backs proves Brooks was aware of the offer to fight Frank long before he was actually considering a run in the UFC. Regardless, Frank’s not mad that Brooks might not want to take the fight — he’s more concerned that the former WWE wrestler is lying when saying he’s never heard of the challenge.
"It definitely bugs me. It bugs me that they won’t give me any acknowledgement. I have way more experience than him. Plus it’s everywhere on the internet. Google CM Punk and UFC and it pops up. So he’s naÃ¯ve to pretend that he doesn’t know about me, which tells me two things — he’s annoyed and doesn’t want to give me more creditability with fans or No. 2, he’s scared. Those are the only explanations and there are no other explanations," Frank said.
"I don’t know why Punk would be scared when he’s going into the UFC and facing top talent out there. I’d be way more scared if (Michael) Bisping challenged me and came up and wanted to fight. It does annoy me. I’m not picking on him, he’s in a top organization and I’ve seen all the people talking about him and I tried getting this way before now. I challenged him two years ago."
While the idea of the former Green Power Ranger fighting CM Punk in the UFC might sound ridiculous on paper, Frank is actually the person with legitimate martial arts experience and someone who went in a much different route to make it into MMA without using celebrity to his advantage.
Frank decided back in 2010 to give MMA a real shot so he trained and ended up fighting in the amateur ranks where he picked up four wins in four fights, ending all of them in the first round. He made his professional debut three months after his last amateur fight and also won in the first round as well.
"The frustrating part is I’ve trained with UFC guys. I’ve sparred Melvin Guillard, he can vouch for me, I’ve sparred Mike Bronzoulis, he’s an amazing fighter. I spar all these MMA guys and I earned my respect. I used to spar with Derrick Lewis all the time, he’s a heavyweight in the UFC, the guy is a beast. You can ask Derrick up front about me, he’d say I’m legit. I would throw down with him," Frank said.
"I’m totally more legit than him. It’s just kind of silly. This is a logical fight. I just feel my track record’s huge. But in reality The Green Power Ranger vs. CM Punk is the same thing. CM Punk comes from fake wrestling, and the fans are going to kill me for saying that, but it’s entertaining. It’s great, but it’s entertainment. I come from the entertainment industry, but I’m a life long martial artist. I go way back.
"The only negative side of this fight happening would be the UFC being accused of turning this into a circus side show — well, you kind of already are (signing CM Punk). So why not do it, sell a lot of tickets and it would be a big box office draw."
Frank says that even with his experience in the past if the UFC came calling and offered him a contract he’d probably have to turn it down outside of facing Brooks in the Octagon.
I’m totally more legit than him. It’s just kind of silly. This is a logical fight
— Jason David Frank
Because Frank is fully aware that despite his experience and training, he still probably doesn’t belong with the best fighters in the world in the UFC and he respects athletes enough to know the work they put in everyday to earn a shot in the biggest MMA promotion in the world.
He’s not sure Brooks realizes what he’s getting himself into, but Frank will gladly face him in the UFC and then he can face someone of almost equal experience to see if he’s really ready for the challenge that lies ahead.
Frank is quite sure Brooks is already aware of what he’s stepping into and it’s not going to end well for him.
"I’m not going to lose. He’s not hungry. He looked like he regrets the deal. He looks scared, he looked nervous," Frank said about Brooks. "Me too, I’d get nervous too being in front of people, but the difference is he’s not hungry. I’m hungry. I’m hungry because I want this fight. I’ve wanted this for two years. He needs to figure it out because there’s way too much hype in this. He can continue to ignore me and he can go to bed every night and go to sleep and know that he’s been punked."
"I wish him the best, but he doesn’t know what this world is."