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Morning Report: CM Punk says he 'would fight Anderson Silva tomorrow' for 'the correct amount of money'

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

On a media blitz in New York City Thursday, professional wrestling's CM Punk began opening up a bit more on the early conversations held with UFC president Dana White prior to his joining the promotion earlier in December.

The WWE star has taken a mountain of flak for his choice to cannonball into MMA's grandest stage at 36 with no resume to speak of, but Punk says he was willing to endure the entry level tournament that is 'The Ultimate Fighter.'

"It was very much a kind of free flowing conversation sort of like, 'Well if you're interested in doing this we're interested in having you on board,' so the kind of things I talked about in that conversation were, well, 'Would you guys want me in 'The Ultimate Fighter' house? Is that the best way? Or is there another way that's best to introduce the world to this idea?'" Punk told Jim Rome on Thursday (via FOX Sports).

Punk had mentioned the possibility of appearing on the UFC reality show in January in an interview with Ariel Helwani, but didn't sound incredibly enthused.

"Not tooting my own horn and I'm saying that I'm some sort of megastar or anything," Punk said earlier this year. "But do you put CM Punk [on TUF]?"

Thursday, Punk said he even warned UFC brass about the inevitable backlash of his signing.

"I said, 'Listen guys, there's going to be a lot of people who are going to be mad at you.' Obviously they took that into consideration, but the idea -- just as my personality is -- we don't really care what other people think of ourselves, so it's their company. They presented me with a tremendous opportunity. I feel I would have been foolish if I would have left it on the table."

In the comfort of a few like-minded professional wrestling fans, Punk explained that the sport's complaining purists don't even really have an argument to stand on.

"I understand that fans and fighters alike will look at me and have that viewpoint, so I'm very, like, 'OK, I understand totally, because Jose Canseco wants to fight me," Punk told Opie Radio on SiriusXM. "I think I'm going to bring eyes to the product and I think there's going to be those MMA purists who are like, 'Go back to phony wrestling,' not understanding that MMA actually evolved from pro wrestling."

It wasn't until he appeared on TSN's 'Off The Record' with Michael Landsberg that Punk truly went on the defensive.

After lampooning Punk in an animated roll-in segment, as per usual on OTR, Landsberg expressed his belief that White is protecting him by planning to book him against a likewise questionable talent, rather than a UFC caliber fighter.

"No,' replied Punk. "We never had a conversation about who I would fight or what their experience level would be so that was Dana talking."

Landsberg pressed on by asking if Punk would accept a bout with someone with as much UFC experience as Nate Diaz, who voiced his concern over the signing prior to his bout with Rafael dos Anjos at UFC on FOX 13.

Punk responded by saying he'd fight anyone if it paid well enough, something he's maintained isn't a motivating factor for starting his fight career.

"Look, this is where things will get said out of context," said Punk. "I don't think Nate called me out. What Nate did was express his opinion on the UFC signing me and me fighting in the UFC. I respect his opinion. I'm still a Nate Diaz fan. I watched him fight last Saturday and I'll watch him the next time he fights.

"Who I fight isn't 100 percent up to me. I don't think it's 100 percent up to any fighter. That's what the [UFC matchmaker] Joe Silva's of the world are for. Would I fight Nate Diaz? This is where he takes it out of context. Yea, I would fight anybody given the proper time to prepare for it. Would that be a wise decision at this juncture in my career? Probably not. But I would also fight Anderson Silva tomorrow if you paid me the correct amount of money to do so."

Fortunately for Punk, Silva already has a date to main event UFC 183 with Nick Diaz on Jan. 31 in Las Vegas. With talk of Punk's UFC debut now being pushed to late 2015, anything is possible.

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5 MUST-READ STORIES

MMA Beat. The panel discusses the class action lawsuit filed against the UFC, Robbie Lawler's future, the Reebok deal, CM Punk, our stories of the year, and much more.

'Every fight that we do isn't going to be everybody's thing.' UFC president Dana White defends his decision to bring in professional wrestler CM Punk, while responding to one of the signing's biggest critics in Ben Askren.

'I'll play the bad guy' Jon Jones says he's embraced his role after 'the media painted' him as a villain against Daniel Cormier.

'I never ran from anyone' Renan Barao says he hopes T.J. Dillashaw keeps his UFC title so he can 'beat him up and make him stop talking trash.'

Numbers. Dave Meltzer explains how strong PPV buy rates for UFC 181 could be costing Rory MacDonald his welterweight title shot. 'As a hardcore fan, I'd have liked to have seen MacDonald get the shot, but right now, Hendricks is the bigger name of the two.'

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MEDIA STEW

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Free Fight: Donald Cerrone vs. Jim Miller.

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The complete Cormier interview from UFC Tonight.

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Conor McGregor talking about moving to lightweight and fighting Jose Aldo.

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Luke Thomas Is Pissed, the year of sports in 2014 edition:

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CB Dollaway is comfortable as the underdog against Lyoto Machida.

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Wanderlei Silva talks UFC lawsuit, Reekbok deal, CM Punk and more.

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TTTHS.

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Long watches.

SamboTech Episode 1 - Palhares vs Fitch

...

BAMMA 17: (Main Event) Colin Fletcher vs Micheal Brightmon

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#024 - PALMER, BUCHHOLZ, STUDBOY, and MURDOCK. "The WORLD CHAMP Visits, times 2"

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TWEETS

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Big move.

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Jon Jones gets tested.

The Nevada State athletic commission just stopped by my house and hit me with that random.. Only thing I'm on is that #PHW pure hard work! They're probably wondering how my chicken legs are so strong. I've had a few @muscletech products but that's all legal :)


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They mad.

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Lawsuit comments.

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Father time got another one.

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Congrats.

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Holiday shopping.

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Outstanding.

#aBellatorHoliday I was Santa. @BellatorMMA @toysfortots

A photo posted by titoortiz1999 (@titoortiz1999) on


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This Week in Struggle.

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Dec. 18 2014)

Matt Dwyer vs. William Macario at UFC Fight Night: Porto Alegre

Sam Alvey vs. Cezar Ferreira at UFC Fight Night: Porto Alegre

Rustam Khabilov vs. Adriano Martins at UFC Fight Night: Porto Alegre

Alexis Dufresne vs. Marion Reneau at UFC 182

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via jaywolf1.

ONEFC beats UFC to China w/PRIDErules and Grand Prix FRIDAY

This Friday, while the UFC is dealing with a lawsuit (burn! lol) ONEFC will be making history by breaking into mainland China with a card that includes not one, but TWO samenight PRIDEstyle Grand Prix! Awesome...

This event will be available for everyone to watch in HD for only $10 on ONEFC's website, and that includes FULL REPLAY so you don't have to pull an all night'r to watch! All you have to do is avoid internet spoilers till you get off work and press play! How cool is that!? All fans plz consider buying it and help support my fav org! Thanks!

Now yes there are some other good fighters on the card: Ji, Sexton, Pang, etc....

...but y'all know me and what I'm about! TOURNAMENTS BABY!!! Especially the EPIC PRIDEstyle GrandPrix!

...

Check out the rest of the post here.

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