Just a week away from his UFC – and MMA – debut, former WWE champion CM Punk sat down with INSIDE MMA correspondent Ron Kruck for an interview which aired yesterday on AXS TV.
The interview started with Kruck asking Punk to list his athletic career prior to joining WWE. Punk laughed and said there’s not much to go on and this will be really quick! He said they had no money when he was a kid and wrestling and MMA was the only thing he would follow. “I’m not an athletic freak,” Punk said.
His coach Duke Roufus of Roufosport where Punk is training said that when the former champ came in he was very humble and while there was no MMA background, he had a mindset of a champion and the ability to be coachable which made this doable.
Punk said that people often compare him to Brock Lesnar but the only comparison they can make between the two is that they were both in the WWE prior to jumping to UFC and added that no one can be compared to Brock because Brock is in his own category.
When asked if a victory in his debut is the only way to say this was a success, Punk said success and failure are both defined very differently based on ones perspective. “To me the only way I fail is if I never did this. So I’ve already won,” Punk said. He thinks he will get his hands raised at the end of the fight and this will not be a one-and-done for him.
The interviewer asked him what’s the storyline for this fight, is it someone who’s got nothing to lose and here to fulfill a dream? “Yes, I was married to a different industry and left it all to do something I’ve always wanted to do,” Punk replied.
Punk compared wrestling and MMA and said in both you have to train hard to be the very best and both you think about quitting sometimes but you have to power through.
Asked if he has spoken to Brock Lesnar to get some tips, Punk said the two text back and forth and sometimes the text message goes from blue to green (iMessage vs normal text) and when it goes green he knows Brock is in the middle of no man’s land.
The discussion then turned to Vince McMahon and if he gave him any encouragement. Punk laughed for this one as well. “He’s currently bankrolling a lawsuit against me so I don’t think he’s gonna be reaching out,” he said. He then imitated Vince’s voice on what he would say if he called him. “Hey pal, how you doing? I’m suing you! LOL” as the two laughed.
To close the segment, Punk said he appreciates everyone who supports him, both wrestling and MMA fans. “And If they don’t like me, they’re still tuning in to see me get KO’d anyway. So thanks!”
You can see videos of the interview below.