Friday, September 23, 2016
Phillip Brooks, better known by his ring name CM Punk, went from World Wrestling Entertainment Champion to having a 0-1 record in the Ultimate Fighting Championship in UFC 203 on Sept. 10.
The 37-year-old former professional wrestler's debut only last two minutes and 14 seconds and
lost by submission to 2-0 fighter Mickey Gall, who is 24. This was Punk’s dream: To get the chance to fight in the UFC and the bravery to go into the octagon is commendable. But, what is the dream and how brave is he really?
Punk is well set. He has been wrestling for most of his life and has been able to climb the ranks in that world and he reached stardom in the WWE, which comes with a pretty penny. He built a legion of fans which still support him even after he left the WWE two years ago. His status allowed him to receive the three fight contract with the UFC with no past experience. Fairly easy when you think about his opponent's journey.
Gall has been fighting since he was 13-years-old. Training hard, climbing the ropes in mixed martial arts and has been able to reach the UFC. Sound familiar? However, Gall has a long way if he wishes to reach the level Punk did in the WWE, which in the UFC is uncertain.
Unlike in the WWE, where superstars are chosen and match results decided based on crowd reaction and on the “buy rate,” the fighters in the UFC are a sort of independent contractor. Their results decide whether or not they get another fight. If Gall would have lost this fight, more certain then not, he would not have another fight in the UFC until he showed his stripes, again.
So how brave is it really for Punk to go into a fight, lose, and still have two fights guaranteed when Gall had the possibility of going back and fighting in gym in front of 50 people looming over his head if he lost?
Also, let us not forget that this is a job, Gall does this to survive. To be able to provide for himself. Punk is pretty much set for life financially. But, who do you believe received a better pay check?
According to MMA insider Front Row Brian, Punk received a base salary of $500,000 for fighting in comparison to Gall who made $30,000-$15,000 base and $15,000 for winning the fight.
Lastly, hypocrisy also plays into Punks performance with the UFC. Punk has always been critical of older wrestlers coming back to the WWE and taking the spotlight from the little guy. That was one of the reason for him leaving the WWE in the first place because of the return of Brock Lesner.
But what did Punk do in the UFC?
He came in, received a contract that veterans of the sport usually get, took the spot of other fighters who deserved the opportunity more and got paid half a million dollars to get beat up for two minutes.
Punk’s next fight is not known. President of the UFC Dana White was quoted in saying the maybe Punk should not have his next fight in the UFC. He later retracted that comment. So, only time will tell if Punk will see another shot, but the relationship he has with the UFC and what that means for
the rest of the fighters and the organization as a whole is very ugly.