Coach Duke Roufus: CM Punk Learned from ‘Real Beating’ in UFC Debut

By Tristen Critchfield Oct 28, 2017


It appears that CM Punk could be booked for his second Octagon appearance in the very near future.

“Dana and the matchmakers had their weekly matchmaking meeting [Wednesday], and you’re gonna hear some news soon I think,” Duke Roufus said during an interview on the UFC Unfiltered podcast posted Thursday.

Roufus, who is Punk’s head trainer at Roufusport in Milwaukee, said that his fighter learned some valuable lessons from the his first UFC appearance. The former WWE star was taken down immediately, beaten up and submitted by Mickey Gall in the opening stanza of their bout at UFC 203. While Punk’s debut drew plenty of attention, the end result was to be expected for someone with minimal mixed martial arts experience.

“….I just think the first time you’re in the Octagon there’s something special you’ve got to deal with getting in there. We’ve really rebounded,” Roufus said. “When you lose a fight it’s a blessing in disguise because now the ‘0’ is gone. You don’t have to worry about being invincible. A lot of questions get answered.

“For Punk, this sounds really weird, but now he knows what a beating feels like,” Roufus continued. “A real beating. And I think it will help a lot of fighters to the point of [haunting] them, like ‘No, I don’t ever want to feel this way again.’ It’s not the physical. These guys are tough. It’s the mental anguish. You don’t want to feel that depressed, embarrassing feeling of getting beat up in front of God and everyone. It’s no fun.

Roufus says that the defeat has given Punk an impetus to return to the gym to get back to work.

“It’s been great motivation for him to get a little bit more school,” Roufus said. “I can tell you until the cows come home what to do, but until you actually get in the middle of a freestyle fistfight where everything’s flying…you just don’t know ’til you know.”

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