Dana White addresses whether or not CM Punk will fight in the UFC again
CM Punk did not have a very successful mixed martial arts debut after Mickey Gall submitted him with a rear naked choke just over two minutes into the first round at UFC 203.
After the show was over, UFC president Dana White said that if Punk wanted to fight again it would probably be in his best interest to compete in a smaller organization to get some experience before climbing back into the Octagon again.
White admits he hasn't talked to Punk much since that night but it appears he's open to the idea of the former WWE superstar fighting in the UFC again.
“So what I told him to do, go home, spend some time with your wife, be normal for a little while and we'll get on the phone and talk,” White said on the “UFC Unfiltered” podcast this week. “Obviously we haven't talked yet but we will, we'll see what's next.
Clearly, Punk's UFC debut didn't go as he planned but that didn't discourage the 37-year old MMA novice from wanting to fight again.
Immediately after the fight, Punk already stated that he planned to fight again and the dream of competing in mixed martial arts wasn't complete because he didn't get a win.
While the result didn't go his way, White still commends Punk for the effort because there are a ton of people who want to do what he did at UFC 203, but still couldn't stomach the pressure to walk through the curtain and then step inside the Octagon for a real fight.
“I don't care how big of a superstar you are anywhere. If you were in the WWE but even if you were in PRIDE or you were in any of these other organizations out there, your first walk into that Octagon in a (expletive) sold out arena. Let me tell you, it will get anybody,” White said.
“Everybody gets those jitters the first time and we knew. I don’t ever throw cans at any of these guys that come from anywhere. You want to fight in the UFC, you're going to fight a real guy and Mickey Gall might have been 2-0 but Mickey Gall is legit. That kid's a tough kid, he's a tough up and comer and I respect Punk for giving it a shot.”
The pressure during a UFC debut would be great on anybody, but it was even more intense for Punk, who had a huge spotlight on him after all his years as a high profile professional wrestler.
White says a lot of people talk a good game when it comes to fighting in the UFC, but Punk actually took it on the chin, faced up to his defeat and that has to be respected.
“When you have what CM Punk has, the notoriety and the fame and all that stuff, to put everything on the line at that point in your life at that age and to walk in there and showcase yourself in front of the world, very few people can do it,” White said. “Everybody dreams of it, everybody wants it, very few people can really do it.”
We'll see. I've got to talk to him and see where his head's at and what he's thinking.
— Dana White