A lot of buzz was generated when the UFC announced the signing of longtime WWE Superstar and former WWE Champion CM Punk. Many say that the UFC is now signing just “names” and not “talent” anymore as Punk has no professional MMA fights under his belt. However, Zuffa CEO Lorenzo Fertitta spoke with ESPN recently on the caliber of opponent Phillip “CM Punk” Brooks will face and indicated that his debut will likely be a co-main event to a pay-per-view due to his name draw. Fertitta also announced that the bout will be contested at middleweight.
“I think it has to be somebody with some level of credentials,” said Fertitta. “It’s not just going to be some guy off the street. It’s going to be somebody who is a professional mixed martial artist – certainly somebody who MMA media will recognize and know.”
“But I’m going to defer to Joe Silva. We’ll let him bring two to three names to the table and we’ll figure it out from there. But I guarantee you it will be a competitive guy.”
“We knew there was going to be backlash. At the end of the day, we did our research and we talked to the people he’s trained with. We’re going to find out what he can bring to the table. We’re confident he has the skills to fight. We don’t know exactly what level yet. Sometimes, you’ve got to invest in what we call ‘fighter development.’ We’ve done it before and guys have developed into very competitive fighters, and we’ve done it where guys have not.”
Never one to not deliver on a microphone, CM Punk shared his thoughts on the kind of guy he would more than likely face. He also offered some humor on the subject.
“They will give me a fight that makes sense — unless this thing is a big rib on me and they have me fight Anderson Silva right away,” said Brooks. “I could tell you what the outcome of that fight would be.
“Only time will tell, but if I had to guess who’s standing across the Octagon from me, it’s probably a young kid with around the same experience as myself.”
Before signing to the UFC, former UFC competitor Phil Baroni (15-18) called out CM Punk as well as MMA professional Jason David Frank (1-0), (4-0 amateur). Frank is most known for his role on “Power Rangers” as Green Ranger.