Gracie: CM Punk is interested in MMA and there’s ‘no limit’ to his potential

Legendary Brazilian jiu-jitsu trainer Rener Gracie tells FOX Sports that his student WWE star CM Punk has expressed interest in MMA – and Punk succeeding in the sport wouldn’t be completely far-fetched.

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CM Punk in MMA? It might not be as unrealistic as you think.

Rener Gracie, who has trained the WWE star for the last four years in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, said Punk has told him he would be interested in competing in mixed martial arts. And Gracie thinks he has a chance to hold his own.

“With the little time he’s had with me spread out over so many years, he’s made remarkable progress,” Gracie told FOX Sports. “There’s no telling how successful he would be if he devoted himself full time to the training.”

As reported by FOX Sports, Punk is on the outs with WWE. His contract is up in July, but he walked out on the company after Raw on Monday night, because he’s unhappy with how he’ll be used at Wrestlemania XXX, according to TMZ.

In an in-depth interview with Ariel Helwani last week, Punk outlined his issues with WWE and also intimated interest in competing in MMA. Along with BJJ training at Gracie Academy in Torrance, Calif., Punk has also trained in striking. Punk wears the Gracie Jiu Jitsu logo on his shorts when he wrestles.

Punk, whose real name is Phillip Brooks, is 35 years old. But Gracie doesn’t believe that would stand in his way if he wanted to compete in MMA. The legendary BJJ trainer isn’t sure if Punk will go out and win a UFC title, but he thinks he could “climb the ladder.”

“He can go get some fights, knock some fools out and choke some dudes,” Gracie said.

Gracie called Punk “a sponge,” who took to BJJ almost immediately, similar to other professional athletes he has worked with. The trainer lauded CM Punk’s fitness level, spatial awareness and athleticism.

“If he dedicates himself full time, there is no limit,” Gracie said. “He has the intangibles.”

Maybe CM Punk will one day dip his toe into MMA, but his reported disagreement with the WWE might end up being a ruse. During the interview with FOX Sports, Gracie got a text from Punk, who said he’ll be in town in a couple of weeks and he wants to roll.

Why would Punk be in California? WWE shows, of course. Raw is in Los Angeles on Feb. 10.

Let the speculation begin.