Coach Duke Roufus Impressed with CM Punk’s Instincts, Progress as a Fighter

By Nathan Zur Jun 8, 2018

UFC 225 is now available on Amazon Prime.

On Saturday night, Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight Phil Brooks -- better known as “CM Punk” -- will make his second appearance inside the Octagon against Mike Jackson to kick off the main card of UFC 225 in Chicago.

Punk, who is a Chicago native, made his mixed martial arts debut in September 2016 against Mickey Gall. It was a clear mismatch in ability with Gall dominating Punk and submitting him in 2:14 in the very first round.

Punk went back to the drawing board and by all accounts has been training hard at his gym at Roufusport in Milwaukee. Head coach and founder of Roufusport, Duke Roufus, talked to MMAFighting.com about the improvements in Punk’s game:

“Incredibly. The first fight, I’m not gonna lie, we all rolled the dice. It was like this crazy science project. I haven’t been that nervous before a fight before, honestly. And we’re really good friends. Ariel Helwani and myself and Chael Sonnen in Chicago in January 2013, we all sat together with Punk and watched Ben Askren beat Karl Amoussou when Thursday night Bellator was on. We hit it off very well from that point. We became friends. I personally care for the guy very much. He’s a solid individual. It was nerve-racking.”

Rofus is impressed with the development of Punk’s fighter’s instinct, which is why the nerves aren’t there for the fight on Saturday night:

“That being said, I don’t have those nerves coming into this one, because we had a session [Sunday] with coach [Scott Cushman] and with coach [Daniel] Wanderley with Punk and everything just seemed just all together. Not that he was struggling, but he just peaked out. It’s like he understand the sixth sense of fighting. It took him a while to get that. That’s the thing. Everyone knows the Xs and Os of this stuff and we teach you the Xs and Os, the theories. But there’s instinct. And the instinct if there -- the reactions, the seeing things before they happen. Having that sixth sense and he had it. I’m very happy about that. Sometimes fighters never get that.”

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