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CM Punk's UFC debut reportedly delayed due to shoulder injury

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

CM Punk fighting for the first time at the end of the year was probably a pipe dream anyway. Now, it definitely won't happen.

Punk's coach Duke Roufus told on Monday that the former WWE star has an injured shoulder and won't make his UFC debut for another six to 10 months.

"He got caught in a scramble, so right now he's taking a little time off," Roufus told Brett Okamoto. "He was doing great before that. His progress has been good. He's got a great attitude and he's a hard worker. He got a place in Milwaukee where he lives all week when he's here training, so he's in it to win it.

"Our biggest thing is we want him to 101 percent before [we resuming training]. We don't have a hard date for his fight to force the issue, so making sure he's completely healthy is possible."

Roufus said that CM Punk has a doctor's appointment Oct. 14 and he could be cleared to return to training on that date. Punk had previously said he'd want to fight sometime at the end of the year or in 2016, but would leave the decision up to his coaches.

When asked how far along he is with his preparation, Roufus said Punk is "50 percent" there. Punk, whose real name is Phil Brooks, signed with the UFC last December after a very long, prosperous career in professional wrestling. He is also 36 years old with no substantial previous experience in martial arts before he began training at Roufusport earlier this year.

"He's about at 50 percent," said Roufus, the coach for former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, among others. "But that being said, remember that my 100 percent is a very well-prepared person.

"The UFC will probably book him a fight three to four months in advance -- a guy of his magnitude. We're probably looking at a fight in the next six to 10 months. The injury throws us back one month. We had a ballpark. We were looking at mid- to late-spring. Now, we'll just have to see how he comes back from the injury."

Roufus would be in favor of positioning CM Punk to make his debut at UFC 200 on July 9, 2016, which will take place at the new Las Vegas arena being constructed by MGM.

"I gave up managing fighters, but I understand the promotion business," Roufus said. "I think it's smart business. I was at UFC 100 when Brock Lesnar was showcased, and I saw the impact of that."

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