The path for professional wrestler turned professional fighter CM Punk has been set. On Saturday, UFC newcomer Mickey Gall will get the first crack at Punk if he defeats Mike Jackson at UFC Fight Night 82.
Punk has no athletic or competitive martial arts experience background and at age 37, no one is exactly sure what to make of his fighting ability. So, what happens if the fight with Gall happens and Punk loses badly? Will he fight again?
"That's going to be up to him," UFC President Dana White said on the Grant and Danny Show on 106.7 The Fan in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.
"He was a big fan of the UFC. He ended up leaving the WWE and he said, 'Dana, my dream is to fight in the UFC. I want to fight in the UFC. Will you let me fight?'
"So, we're giving him a fight," White noted. "We're bringing in a kid who has obviously a little more experience than he does. If he wins this fight this Saturday, he'll be 2-0. Punk is 0-0. We'll see how it plays out for him."
For White and the UFC, the move of signing someone with no professional or even athletic competition experience is uncharted territory. Fighters have made their debut without any professional bouts, but have typically been young and worked through The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) reality show system. Others, like former street fighter Kimbo Slice, also had previous professional bouts and TUF experience. Former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar had fought previously and held a Division I national wrestling title.
Brooks could come out on top or flop badly, but either way, White said the choice to compete beyond the first UFC bout will be entirely Punk's.
"He will decide what he wants to do after that."