Reaction to the news that former professional wrestler CM Punk will compete in the UFC with no previous fighting experience has met with a decidedly mixed reaction. Some competitors on the UFC roster have welcomed the man otherwise known as Phil Brooks, while others have been something less than supportive.
Consider UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones in the latter camp. While Jones is making the big bucks as a longtime champion and pay-per-view star these days, he was once among the ranks of young, hungry fighters trying to make ends meet.
And the champ sympathizes with those who might get passed over at Punk's expense.
"I just think it's unfair for the people who have been working their tails off to earn this opportunity," Jones said on Monday's edition of the radio show Chad Dukes Versus The World. "That's why I really hope UFC gives him a real opponent so we can watch him get knocked out."
The way Jones sees it, Punk shouldn't be allowed to cut in line ahead of those who have been putting in hard work.
"Every day I'm at the gym watching these kids training," said Jones, who meets Daniel Cormier on Saturday night in the main event of UFC 182. "These guys have no money and they're training their tails off, giving up everything to be a fighter. Living in the gym, eating turkey and peanut butter, bare minimum to chase this dream and then a superstar like him just gets to jump into the UFC just because he knows the right people and has a name."
Still, even Jones has to admit that the mainstream attention Punk has brought the UFC isn't all bad.
"It's gonna bring a lot of publicity," Jones said. "I went to my first WWE match this year and the enthusiasm and emotion on the fans faces, it was like they were watching real fighting in the UFC. I do have a respect for the influence of the WWE and the passion of the fans."