Former WWE superstar CM Punk became an instant figure of controversy when signed to the UFC. Dana White announced Tuesday night on FOX Sports Live that CM Punk has chosen Duke Roufus’ Roufusport Gym to begin training for his MMA career.
“He’s picked a training camp,” said the UFC president, “I’m pretty sure he’s going to be training with Anthony Pettis, the 155-pound champion, and his team. We’re just going to see how he progresses in training, and then we’ll go from there.”
Roufusport Gym trains lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis and One FC Welterweight Champion Ben Askren among its athletes, placing CM Punk (Phil Brooks) in good company for getting into the fight game. CM Punk has a background in Kempo Karate and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, but is untested in any amateur MMA fights.
Duke Roufus first met CM Punk at Anthony Pettis’ fight with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, hitting it off as fast friends. As Roufus tells MMA Fighting:
“It was a mutual coming together,” he says. “I’m sure everybody in the sport would love to work with him. He’s my friend first, and that’s what I enjoy about him. I like to be friendly and close with the fighters I work with because it makes it a lot easier. Everyone knows his wrestling persona; I know the real Phil. That’s why I’m excited to work with him.”
So how far along is CM Punk? When will he be ready for the octagon? He’s one of the biggest signees of the year and a highly anticipated icon.
“Hopefully by fall, but I can’t really say,” Said Roufus. “I mean, it could be less or it could be more. The one thing that him and Dana and Lorenzo talk about, they want him to be the real deal. I’m going to be committed to help him reach his goals.”