Punk suffered his first defeat back in 2016 to Mickey Gall, succumbing to the highly-experienced Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner in the first round via submission. After two more years of training Punk went the distance with former Houston Golden Gloves champion Mike Jackson. Punk lost the fight on the judges’ scorecards despite the argument that Jackson was reluctant to finish the fight after having the opportunity to do so several times.
Current professional wrestler and former mixed martial artist Matt Riddle recently offered his thoughts on Punk’s fighting career during an appearance on Sean Waltman’s X-Pac 12360 podcast. One month after the announcement of Punk’s UFC contract signing, he linked up with one of the best MMA gyms in the world, Roufusport MMA, to begin his training. Riddle said that was a big mistake:
“CM Punk, for example, he started training MMA,” Riddle said. “Did he start at like a local Jiu-Jitsu gym? No. He went to Duke Roufus, he went to one of the biggest camps in the world with some of the toughest people and I’ll tell you this that’s probably the worst thing he could’ve done. Because there are a bunch of killers there that want to beat you up.
“They don’t go five miles per hour. They already know all the moves and they’re going to put the beat on you because that’s what you do in fights. While I personally think he probably should’ve gone and got a couple personal trainers, like a personal Jiu-Jitsu instructor — a personal Muay Thai instructor got his hands, his feet, everything educated. He’s Jiu-Jitsu educated.
“And then started to maybe roll with a couple white belts, some blue belts that aren’t at the highest level school in your area and then eventually you make your way to the killers. Then you can be a killer yourself. But I think he just hopped in way to quick.”
Riddle’s comments hold some legitimacy, as he has an 8-3-2 MMA record with all but one of his fights taking place under the UFC’s banner. As for his professional wrestling career, it looks like Riddle could be WWE bound soon.
H/T Wrestling Inc. for the transcriptions