CM Punk’s UFC debut reportedly delayed again due to back surgery

It appears CM Punk will not be making his UFC debut anytime soon after all.

The former WWE superstar was expected to debut at either UFC 199 in June or UFC 200 in July against Mickey Gall, who earned the right to face Punk this past weekend with a win over Mike Jackson at UFC Fight Night from Las Vegas. 

Now Punk tells MMAFighting.com that a lingering back injury from his days in the WWE will force him into surgery, further delaying his UFC debut. The news about the surgery actually came down hours before Gall fought Jackson, but Punk decided to wait until this week to reveal the injury.

"My back has always bugged me. Figured it was just wrestling s–t. Turns out it was," Punk said on Wednesday.

"It got bad enough to the point where I couldn’t do anything the week before I went to train with the New Jersey Devils last month. One day I could manage, the next day I couldn’t. I’ve been in agony for almost a month. Chiropractor, acupuncture, massage, cryotherapy . . . nothing worked."

Punk was scheduled to go into surgery on Wednesday to repair damage to a herniated disk in his back, which will delay his debut in the UFC. Punk estimated his time out of action will be approximately four to six weeks and he hopes to fight at least once inside the Octagon in 2016. When that fight would take place remains to be seen. 

In late 2015, Punk suffered a shoulder injury in training that forced him out of the gym for several weeks. Now another setback for the 37-year-old former professional wrestler, who was signed to the UFC in December 2014 but still hasn’t had his first fight.