CM Punk says that his wife AJ Lee may join him in the UFC as Joe Rogen slammed the former wrestler for his perceived lack of mixed-martial arts skills.
Punk was asked during a recent UFC 182 question-and-answer session who he sees joining him at the UFC, and he admitted that he couldn’t count out Lee as a possibility.
He also named Daniel Bryan as another possible transfer. Punk also lauded Brock Lesnar for paving a path for WWE wrestlers to transfer over to UFC, although he emphasized the differences between him and Lesnar.
“I’m a friend of Brock, and what he did is absolutely remarkable; I am in no way trying to follow in his footsteps,” Punk said. “I’m not thinking about a title, I’m not thinking about anything past right now training my ass off for that first fight. …Me and Brock Lesnar are two different people. He’s an animal – and I’m a smaller animal.”
Punk also confirmed that he’ll be training at the Roufusport Martial Arts Academy in Milwaukee under famed coach Duke Roufus.
“I’ve known Duke for a while, the familiarity was an easy in and we just discussed a couple of things and I realize that me going anywhere to train with anybody – there’s pluses and minuses,” Punk said. “It’s the same with me walking into a camp that’s established, and that’s a very established camp. Dare I say one of the elite.”
Ben Askren, the wrestling coach at the academy, says that he has no problem with Punk, despite his criticism of the signing. “If you read what I wrote, right, it was aimed at the UFC, not ‘CM Punk.’ You can’t be mad at someone because the UFC decides to pay them a bunch of money. More power to him,” Asken told Fox News.
He was referring to his tweet, in which he said: “@ufc sign a fake wrestler, but not an Olympian who is the best WW in the world. Amateur move.”
Asken said Punk, whose real name is Phil Brooks, will be “another student.”
“He’ll show up to class, he’ll warm up, he’ll be a part of the team. [UFC lightweight champion] Anthony [Pettis] doesn’t get treated special. I don’t get treated special. I can’t be sure, but I don’t think [Punk] will get treated special,” he said.
But Punk is still facing some serious criticism, including from UFC commentator Joe Rogan, who believes Punk should train outside the United States.
“What I would do is bring you to [expletive] Holland,” Rogan told MMA Fighting.
“If I had a guy who was a multi-millionaire, I would bring that guy somewhere you’ve got a bunch of people that are the elite of the elite in whatever discipline. I’d bring them to [Eddie Bravo’s] 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu to have him learn Jiu Jitsu. ‘Dude, you’re going to train here every day for a year before we even think about you fighting someone on [expletive] TV in a cage.”
Rogan expressed doubt over whether Punk could legitimately battle in the UFC.
“I want to see guys get you in side control, get you in a mounted crucifix,” said Rogan. “Ready? Escape. You’ve got to do that every [expletive] day. I want to see what happens when someone puts you on your back. Can you threaten off your back? Can you get back up? What’s your half guard like? Do you have a lockdown? Or one of these stupid 1994 half guards where you’re just flopping your legs around?
“What are you doing? Are you doing the best, go-to [expletive] when you’re in bad situations? No. Then why are you in the UFC? It’s two thousand and [expletive] 14. You need to be at ‘Mom & Pop [expletive] MMA’ in Bismark South Dakota or wherever the [expletive] that is and fight in some small shows. You need to get some seasoning. Some experience. You need to start slow.”