It has already been reported that World Wrestling Entertainment would not let CM Punk walk out with Chael Sonnen for Sonnen's UFC fight two years ago. Now, we know the reason WWE gave him.
Punk said this week on wrestler Colt Cabana's podcast that WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon told him he could not appear on UFC television because it was "barbaric."
"Oh my God, Phil," Punk, whose real name is Phil Brooks, said McMahon told him. "No, we can't do that. That's barbaric. Somebody is going to die. Then I had to remind him, 'I don't know if you remember Owen Hart or not, because he sort of died in your ring.'"
Punk, who left WWE earlier this year, was supposed to walk out with Sonnen at UFC on FOX 2 on Jan. 28, 2012 in Punk's hometown of Chicago. Punk said the UFC agreed to let him do it, but WWE put the kibosh on it.
"Tomorrow is the Royal Rumble so it'll get some last-minute buys and whether Chael wins or loses, no offense to Chael, nobody is going to be talking about him," Punk said, explaining his pitch to McMahon. "They're going to be talking about the WWE champion walking him to the Octagon."
McMahon didn't stop with his criticism of the UFC there. CM Punk said he also expressed disgust at the advent of the UFC's women's bantamweight division. A year later, Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche competed in the UFC's first female fight.
"Did you know that they're going to have women fight in the Octagon soon?" Punk said McMahon told him.
Punk said he replied: "Yeah and it's the f---ing coolest thing in the world and it's going to be the hottest f---ing thing, you'll see."
Punk, who aired all his grievances with WWE on the "Art of Wrestling" podcast, said just four months after McMahon nixed him walking out with Sonnen, WWE star Triple H walked out with Floyd Mayweather for his boxing match against Miguel Cotto.
Punk was officially fired by WWE in June after departing the company in January. Brooks has trained for years in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Rener and Ryron Gracie and has expressed interest in MMA. Rener told FOXSports.com earlier this year that there would be "no limit" to Punk's MMA potential if he trained full-time.
Just don't expect to see him in the UFC in any respect until the middle of next year at the earliest. Not only is Punk 36 years old with no competitive experience in combat sports, but WWE installed a no-compete clause with the UFC in his termination contract, Punk said. He added that former WWE star Alberto Del Rio, an ex-MMA fighter, also had the same clause.
"Just like UFC is not WWE's competition, but you can't go work there for a year after they fire you on your wedding day," Punk said.
Punk also made it clear that he would never return to WWE or professional wrestling. McMahon not letting him walk out with Sonnen was just one of many reasons.
"He was distancing himself from such a horrible, barbaric product," Punk said. "I reminded him how horrible and barbaric pro wrestling is."