In 2014, former WWE superstar CM Punk announced that he would be fighting in the UFC. Then he had to learn to fight.
Ordinarily before attempting to compete in a sport professionally, one actually learns the sport. The UFC had little choice as if they didn’t sign him, Bellator MMA would, and he is a proven massive PPV draw. So they did.
Punk was a long-time white belt student at the Gracie Academy in Torrance, CA, and earned a green belt in Kenpo karate when he was a kid. He immersed himself in mixed martial arts, training daily with Duke Roufus, one of the top trainers in the sport. Punk also continued his Jiu-Jitsu training at RoufuSport, and was recently awarded his first stripe on his white belt! Next stop, the Octagon.
On Saturday he fights Mickey Gall at UFC 203 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Gall, is a real fighter. He holds a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under David Adiv, is 2-0 as an amateur, and won his pro debut vs. Ron Templeton at Dead Serious MMA 17 via first-round submission. Gall trains at Miller Brothers MMA, Gracie New Jersey Jiu-Jitsu Academy, and American Top Team Allentown.
The odds makers have Gall up a +275 favorite. However, during a recent appearance on Michael Bisping’s The Countdown podcast on Sirius XM Rush, BJJ master Renzo Gracie said he likes Punk’s chances.
“I love the guy,” said Renzo, as transcribed by Anton Tabuena for BE. “I love CM Punk. He’s a great guy, and he’s a very tough guy. He trained for a long time with my cousins in Los Angeles, and now he’s training with Duke Roufus. For sure he will represent well this sport. I can’t wait to see his debut.”
“He’s going to be against a tough guy, but I think he has a big chance to win … with a guillotine. I believe, second round.”