While the merits of the UFC allowing unproven professional wrestler CM Punk to scratch an itch by competing in the Octagon have been argued, most of the signings detractors at least agree the added attention will bring eyes to the sport.
Speaking with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt Eddie Bravo, UFC commentator Joe Rogan gave his take on whether or not the move was truly good for the promotion.
"Business? It depends on what your business is," said Rogan. "This is what I believe, honestly. All bulls**t aside. Your business is the Super Bowl of mixed martial arts. Your business is the best fighters in the world. What this is, is an opportunity like James Toney was, to showcase how ridiculous our ideas are about these athletes that have never competed in MMA in comparison to a true, legitimate MMA fighter. But I don't think that's going to happen in this fight."
Rogan refers to former heavyweight world champion boxer James Toney, who famously fought Randy Couture at UFC 118 in 2010. Couture was able to secure a takedown on Toney with relative ease, submitting the via arm triangle in the first round.
"It was easy," Rogan said of Couture's win over Toney. "But this is Randy Couture, a heavyweight UFC champion, UFC light heavyweight champion, a real legend, versus CM Punk. Who is going to fight ... who? He's going to fight a guy who's 0-1? Is he going to fight a guy who's 1-0? Why is that 1-0 guy in the UFC? Well, he's only in the UFC because of CM Punk."
As UFC president Dana White previously stated would likely be the case, Rogan believes Punk will face a relative newcomer with a comparable record, meaning someone with perhaps two professional fights at most.
"His idea is that he can do this as a challenge and that he wants to jump in and give this a shot," said Rogan. "But I would tell him, if he was my friend, and supposedly he's very wealthy, I would tell him the same thing I would tell [former UFC heavyweight champion] Brock Lesnar, if I ever had Brock Lesnar alone before he started his career, if he asked me, 'What should I do?'
"I'd say, 'How do you want to do this? Do you want to just climb Mount Everest once? Or do you want to be the best that you can be? If you want to be the best that you can be you need to take a legitimate year plus and work on skills only. Only skills, no fighting. No fighting in the UFC! What are you? Crazy?"
In step with retired Dutch MMA legend Bas Rutten, Rogan believes Punk should abandon the States for the Netherlands, or maybe even Thailand. Punk has revealed he'll be training at Roufusport in Wisconsin, close to his Chicago home.
"What I would do is bring you to f***ing Holland," Rogan continued. "If I had a guy who was a multi-millionaire, I would bring that guy somewhere you've got a bunch of people that are the elite of the elite in whatever discipline. I'd bring them to [Eddie Bravo's] 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu to have him learn Jiu Jitsu. 'Dude, you're going to train here every day for a year before we even think about you fighting someone on f***ing TV in a cage."
Punk has tentatively planned for his UFC debut to come in late 2015. By the sounds of it, Rogan believes slow and steady is the way to go.
"I want to see guys get you in side control, get you in a mounted crucifix," said Rogan. "Ready? Escape. You've got to do that every f***ing day. I want to see what happens when someone puts you on your back. Can you threaten off your back? Can you get back up? What's your half guard like? Do you have a lockdown? Or one of these stupid 1994 half guards where you're just flopping your legs around?
"What are you doing? Are you doing the best, go-to s**t when you're in bad situations? No. Then why are you in the UFC? It's two thousand and f***ing 14. You need to be at 'Mom & Pop F***ing MMA' in Bismark South Dakota or wherever the f**k that is and fight in some small shows. You need to get some seasoning. Some experience. You need to start slow."
According to Rogan, Punk should be worrying exclusively about mechanics at this point, not trying to string together imperfect techniques.
"You need to start working on mechanics," said Rogan. "Have a guy like a [Blackzilians head striking coach] Henri Hooft or a [9X kickboxing and Muay Thai world champion] Rob Kaman going over mechanics with you where you're doing slow motion drills.
"You're throwing left hook, right leg kick and he's going to go, 'No no no, pivot, pivot.' They'll show you over and over again. You should be doing that s**t forever. You shouldn't be relying on simple athleticism and grit and toughness. Dropping your hands and winging punches with your f***ing chicken neck up in the air. F**k that! No! This is the goddamn UFC. You've got one shot at this. You should do this right. You've got to get skillful."
5 MUST-READ STORIES
Aftermath. Dave Doyle recaps all the action from UFC 182.
'This is not going to ruin me.' Daniel Cormier vows to rebound from loss to Jon Jones.
Highlights from Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier.
Jones talks post-fight.
Dana White talks UFC 182.
Highlights from the UFC 182 post-fight presser. (Full press conference here)
Daniel Cormier reflects on the Jones fight.
'Rare' early Nick Diaz bare knuckle fight.
See how the pros reacted to UFC 182.
I just text Dana about Denver! So let hope this goes through. I said 170 or anyone? Don't care— Cowboy Cerrone (@Cowboycerrone) January 5, 2015
Thank you all for the love and support im trying to respond to everyone but it's getting kinda hard lol. You guys are the best!— Brad Tavares (@BradTavares) January 4, 2015
遅くなりましたが 明けましておめでとうございます 今年もよろしくお願いします！ 試合結果 無事に勝つことができました 自分が描いてた形と違い判定ですごく納得がいってないです！これからもっと練習してもっと強くなって帰ってきたいと思います！ 上目指して突っ走る！！— Kyoji Horiguchi (@kyoji1012) January 4, 2015
Thank you also, but now late Happy New Year this year! Match Result is not doing is very convincing in the judgment difference safely and form their own that was had drawn can win! You would like to come back to become more strongly to practice now more! The rip aiming above! !
Thank you to all my Fans that keep supporting me. I'm one step closer to that Title shot! http://t.co/Dm8hrKzp9X— Hector Lombard (@HectorLombard) January 4, 2015
Paul Felder (@felderpaul) January 4, 2015
No better feeling then to get the chance to fulfill a dream, a dream paved with years of blood, sweat and tears. Tonight I get that chance!!— Cody Garbrandt (@Cody_Nolove) January 3, 2015
The best thing about being finished tonight is I get to see my little girl soon!!!— Shawn Jordan (@savageshawn) January 4, 2015
Evan Dunham (@evandunham155) January 5, 2015
Marion Reneau (@BelizeanBruiser) January 4, 2015
Better luck next time.
Myles Jury (@FuryJury) January 4, 2015
Nate Marquardt (@NathanMarquardt) January 4, 2015
I'll good ya'll... Just a couple bruises.— Joshua Burkman (@JoshBurkman) January 4, 2015
Danny Castillo (@lastcall155) January 5, 2015
Marcus Brimage (@Brim205) January 4, 2015
Gave it all I had. He won. Fair n square. However I feel like a winner given all the support I've had the privilege to enjoy. Love y'all!— Mats Nilsson (@MatsNilssonMMA) January 4, 2015
Neither were they.
Hey @JonnyBones you may be the best 205lber in the world, but I know all you really want is the fans love. Sorry you'll never get it.— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) January 4, 2015
Fabricio Werdum (@FabricioWerdum) January 4, 2015
Lost a big MMA fan.
I am so sad to hear about Stuart. He was such a good person and was without a doubt one of the biggest... http://t.co/SMkCGujeGG— Dana White (@danawhite) January 4, 2015
Sad to hear Stuart Scott has passed. Met him a couple times, big mma fan and super cool guy. RIP— Frankie Edgar (@FrankieEdgar) January 4, 2015
Rip Stuart Scott. He's real inspiration and has always been a strong supporter of MMA. Glad I had the... http://t.co/3cKdfjC7WI— Gilbert Melendez (@GilbertMelendez) January 4, 2015
RIP stuartscott such an inspiring guy to be around! http://t.co/xDdO2IcHeb— Urijah Faber (@UrijahFaber) January 4, 2015
Kenny Florian (@kennyflorian) January 4, 2015
The sports industry, and the rest of the world lost a great human today in Stuart Scott. He changed the game in... http://t.co/wGrM11nvFR— Clay Guida (@clayguida) January 4, 2015
Last time I saw @StuartScott was at a UFC event last year. Full of encouragement and support, even amidst his battle. Guy was all class.— Jon Anik (@Jon_Anik) January 4, 2015
" When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer, "Scott told the audience. "You beat cancer... http://t.co/d7IAKCXpAY— Ovince St. Preux (@003_OSP) January 4, 2015
RIP Stuart Scott. Spent every morning with him for a lot of years.— Stipe Miocic (@stipemiocicufc) January 4, 2015
Steven Siler (@Stevesiler) January 4, 2015
He retired, too.
Crazy mma news this weekend: Tim Sylvia weighed 371lbs for a fight & the commission wouldnt let him fight. What you eating Tim? Children— Andy Ogle (@thelittleaxe) January 4, 2015
Get well soon.
Worth a read.
Chael Sonnen (@sonnench) January 3, 2015
✈️back to Sacramento for me pic.twitter.com/W5K6ACGXwm— Paige Vanzant (@PaigeVanzantUFC) January 4, 2015
Felice Herrig (@feliceherrig) January 4, 2015
Announced this weekend (Jan. 2-4 2015)
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via Simon Head.
Surely there can be no argument now. Jon Jones is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. For my money he's also the most complete mixed martial artist of all time.
A systematic dismantler of opponents, from their psyche to their technique to their heart, Jones is the best there is in the sport of mixed martial arts.
The American light heavyweight has taken on, and beaten, all comers since becoming the youngest belt-holder in UFC history and he's done so in remarkable fashion in almost every case.
One by one the challengers come, each offering a new test. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belts, elite strikers, former world champions and, most recently, Olympians have all taken on 'Bones' Jones, but none have found a way to defeat him.
Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.