Longtime sports entertainment superstar CM Punk was allowed to make his mixed martial arts debut on the biggest stage possible. However, despite his claims that he is not a one-and-done case, Punk’s sophomore effort — if it happens — isn’t likely to take place in the Octagon.
“Is CM Punk going to be a guy who is going to stay in the UFC and continue to fight? Probably not,” UFC President Dana White said recently on UFC Tonight. “But he wanted to try it. I like the guy. I respect the guy. He wanted to fight in the UFC. He wanted to do it. He trained for two years, and he did it.”
Punk was not competitive in his initial MMA foray. Despite preparing for his UFC 203 debut against Mickey Gall at the renowned Roufusport camp, the Chicago native was taken down, beaten up and submitted just 2:14 into the opening round.
Recently, former NFL Pro Bowl defensive lineman Greg Hardy announced his intention to pursue an MMA career after going unsigned as a free agent. The ex-Carolina Panther and Dallas Cowboy comes with plenty of baggage: Hardy was found guilty of assaulting his ex-girlfriend in 2014, and although the charges were eventually dropped, pictures of the alleged abuse later surfaced. Hardy was also arrested in Texas on a cocaine possession charge on Sept. 26.
Still, given his athletic pedigree, Hardy would seem to have more tools for success in MMA than someone like Punk. For now at least, White isn’t looking at someone as inexperienced as Hardy with too much interest.
“There’s been situations like Brock Lesnar who came in and wanted to do it, and obviously that one turned out well,” he said. “Then obviously we had the CM Punk thing. It just depends. I wouldn’t say that I’m looking for retired NFL players for pay-per-view or anything like that. I just don’t know what the real interest is in seeing some of these guys fights or even if it makes sense.”