CM Punk’s teammates say he’s doing well in training for the UFC.
Punk’s teammate Anthony Pettis, one of the mainstays at Duke Roufus’s Roufusport team, said that Punk needs to take it slow but is doing well so far.
“He hasn’t trained with the team yet,” Pettis told MMAjunkie. “He’s doing private lessons with Duke and my jiu-jitsu coach. We don’t want to scare him away. But I’m not discrediting him because he’s definitely a great athlete. It’s just when it comes to MMA you’ve got to put it all together. His striking is going to need some improvement. His jiu-jitsu is getting improvement. He’s going to get improvement everywhere with the team, but we just want to take it slow, and he agrees.”
Pettis said Punk has been humble, which has helped earn fans among the team.
“That’s the cool thing about him,” Pettis said. “He said, ‘I’m not coming in with any ego. I want you to tell me when I’m ready. And when you guys think I’m ready, that’s when I’m ready.’ That shows me that he’s going to do great in the sport.”
Punk said in an interview with Inside MMA that he’s been observing the other fighters and learning.
“I like watching everybody spar, everybody move. It’s been a real learning experience for me, but fun for me too.” Punk said of his first week of training.
Roufus said that Punk has shown great work ethic, attitude, and learning ability.
Former Olympic wrestler Ben Askren, another key member of the Roufus team, said he finally met Punk after criticizing Punk’s joining the UFC.
“I just wanted to meet the guy and see what he was like and he was nice and cool and I’m sure we’re going to get along and it’s all good,” he told FOX Sports.
“He’s willing to do what it takes to be a fighter. We’re going to get him in the gym, we’re going to train him the best we can at Roufus and hopefully we can make him successful.”
Askren noted that no one really knows how high Punk can reach.
“It’s going to be a wait and see and everyone learns at a different pace. Everyone gets better at a different pace so it’s going to be interesting to see,” Askren added. “He said ‘this is my full time job and I’m committed to this so I will be here every single day’ so I guess we’ll see what happens.”