On Saturday night, after almost two years of buildup, CM Punk finally made his walk to the Octagon to fight Mickey Gall. The walk lasted longer than the fight itself. When the opening bell sounded, Punk charged across the cage; Gall changed levels, took him down, and choked him out in just a touch over two minutes. It was a complete drubbing. Though Punk did successfully avoid one submission, he landed no significant strikes and absorbed a healthy number of them in return. And it looks like he may never get to land one.
Speaking with Fight Network's John Pollock after the event, UFC President Dana White said that the UFC "probably" won't have Punk fight again.
"He probably shouldn't have his next fight in the UFC. Just like I said with Brock, having your first fight in the UFC is tough and you [saw] tonight, even if it's against a guy who is 2-0. This is a tough place to learn."
While Punk isn't the first fighter to ever make his MMA debut in the UFC, most of the others had some form of combat sports experience beforehand. James Toney was at least a world-class boxer at one point in time before fighting Randy Couture. And even the likes of Matt Riddle had to make their way through The Ultimate Fighter and some amateur bouts before getting into the world's premiere MMA organization. Of course, none of those other people had the name value and ability to draw viewers that Punk does.
Just how many eyeballs were drawn to the card is still unknown. The UFC never releases official pay-per-view numbers and reports won't surface for a couple of weeks. That being said, if Punk was the driving force behind several million buys White's tune on bringing him back might be entirely different. But, when asked how he viewed the Punk experiment as a whole, White had this to say.
"I don't know if it was an experiment. I became friends with him. He's a nice guy. I like him. I have a lot of respect for him and he wanted to give it a shot. I gave him his shot."
That doesn't sound much like another fight is in the offing for Punk. If this is the end of the CM Punk era, it was brief and divisive. But maybe Scott Coker and Bellator will pick him up to build a story around the next step in his MMA journey.
Results. UFC 203 went down. Here are the results.
This is Sparta. Fabricio Werdum explained why he kicked Edmond Tarverdyan at his UFc 203 fight.
Memory. Stipe Miocic doesn't remember tapping out but he does remember knocking Overeem out.
Sage wisdom. Mickey Gall says he is ready to prove himself after the CM Punk win.
Ups and downs. Brad Tavares explains the "crazy" elevator incident before UFC 203.
EXTRA CREDIT READING
Punk. For The Ringer, Chuck Mindenhall talks about the CM Punk experience at 203.
BJJ Scout dissects the guard passing of my favorite fighter of all time. Obvious must watch stuff.
Hendo on Inside MMA
Conor with the appropriate reaction. Fair play to Phil Brooks for taking it seriously and making the walk. Don't need to lionize nor vilify him.
An interesting look at the UFC Heavyweight division wins and losses (Made by r/MMA user Vizualb)pic.twitter.com/mFyHy1O5FC— MMA GIFS (@mma_gifs_) September 11, 2016
Big John weighs in.
It was a mistake. The fight was over at that point #AskBJM https://t.co/DWjHKUlRKL— Big John McCarthy (@JohnMcCarthyMMA) September 11, 2016
Jones by submission, rd 3.
I'm starting to realize the hype is real with that guy. He's legit, I would be the challenge of a lifetimehttps://t.co/ybke2pAtAC— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) September 12, 2016
I asked the UFC brass if we could please refrain from interviewing fighters after they've been KO'ed. I don't think it's wise nor fair.— Joe Rogan (@joerogan) September 11, 2016
Chael never gonna not be that guy.
WERDUM earned my respect tonight. Him gut kicking Adnan Syed post fight was on par with Andre dropping Heenan from the entrance cart at WM6— Chael Sonnen (@ChaelSonnen) September 11, 2016
Kyle Snyder is 20 years old and already has an Olympic gold medal and a world championship in Freestyle wrestling. Not to mention 1 NCAA championship with 3 more likely to follow. We should be so lucky to get him in MMA.
I want to fight @ufc— Kyle Snyder (@Snyder_man45) September 11, 2016
Even if y'all don't like boxing, the GGG and Chocolatito fights this weekend were incredibly fun.
So boxing is dead eh? I don't think so! Plenty of room for 2 of the best sports well done guys, fantastic fight#OnMyFeet— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) September 10, 2016
Love that fight.
It's official, @RondaRousey is not fighting at @ufc #UFC205. @Amanda_Leoa honor your word, my end is good, just waiting on you champ— Julianna Peña (@VenezuelanVixen) September 10, 2016
I know a guy that would want to fill in for Lawler... pic.twitter.com/wgLpfqgu7d— MMA GIFS (@mma_gifs_) September 10, 2016
Can't deny the man's star power.
If Mark Hunt never fights again to do regular work, I will be so sad.
Cerrone's got a pair of brass ones that's for sure.
Considering their talent, you could argue AKA actually underachieves as a gym. Could easily have 4 champions.
Losing out on this one hurt, but glad Robbie isn't rushing back after that Tyron KO.
Rashad Evans (19-5-1) vs. Tim Kennedy (18-5-0); UFC 205, November 12.
Luke Rockhold (15-3-0) vs. Ronaldo Souza (23-4-0); UFC Fight Night 101, November 27.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
1999: Wanderlei Silva made his Pride debut, winning a decision over Carl Malenko at Pride 7. That event also featured the first loss of Mark Kerr's career at the hands (and illegal knees) of Igor Vovchanchyn, which was later changed into a No Contest because of the illegal knee strikes.
2014: Emmanuel Newton defeated Joey Beltran by spinning backfist KO to successfully defend his Bellator light heavyweight championship at Bellator 124. The co-main event that evening saw Laim McGeary submit Kelly Anundsonwith an inverted triangle choke to win the Bellator light heavyweight tournament to earn a shot at Newton's title.
2015: Tonya Evinger was supposed to defend her Invicta bantamweight championship against Pannie Kianzad at Invicta 14; however, both Evinger and Kianzad missed weight and the bout was changed to a non-title catchweight bout. Evinger won by TKO in the second round.
Stipe vs. Cain is gonna be dope.
Happy Monday everyone. See you tomorrow.
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