CM Punk won’t have to lobby Dana White for a spot on UFC 200, as the former WWE star’s Octagon debut has been delayed by back surgery.
According to a report from MMAFighting.com, Punk will go under the knife on Wednesday in Chicago to repair a herniated disc. The injury is a lingering ailment from his many years on the professional wrestling circuit.
"My back has always bugged me," Punk told MMAFighting.com. "Figured it was just wrestling s—t. Turns out it was. It got bad enough to the point where I couldn't do anything the week before I went to train with the New Jersey Devils last month. One day I could manage, the next day I couldn't. I've been in agony for almost a month. Chiropractor, acupuncture, massage, cryotherapy ... nothing worked.”
Punk, whose signed with the UFC in December 2014, finally had an opponent for his debut when Mickey Gall submitted Mike Jackson this past Saturday in Las Vegas. After the bout, the Chicago native expressed his desire to face Gall at UFC 200 in July. Meanwhile, White said the promotion had been targeting the matchup for UFC 199 in June, although nothing was official. Punk apparently knew about the need for surgery prior to the Gall-Jackson bout but did not reveal the news until now.
Punk’s recovery period is expected to be four to six weeks, according to the report, but he is still unlikely to fight this summer as originally planned. The 37-year-old told MMAFighting that he still wants to fight once before the end of 2016.