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Dana White on signing CM Punk; Punk on when he’ll fight, being a “fake” wrestler, & more

Ariel Helwani interviewed Dana White on the UFC post-fight show on Fox Sports 1. Helwani noted that this is a gigantic deal for UFC and asked why he did it. White said that Punk comes to all of the fights and is a huge fan. He said Punk called him after he was free to sign with anyone and told White that he wants to fight.

Helwani brought up the fact that he signed a guy that is 0-0 and there are some fans that would be skeptical. White said he would be skeptical, of course, but you don’t know if he can fight. White said he doesn’t know when Punk will debut and said it could be 6 or 7 months. Helwani talked to Punk and he also said that he didn’t know when he will debut.

Kenny Florian said that they should put him in a fight with someone around his experience level. Michael Bisping said that he’d like to fight Punk and noted that he called out Punk on twitter.

Later in the show they had Ariel talk with CM Punk. Punk said that he’s been a fan of UFC from the ground level. He said he used to do Kempo in Illinois and it was the first time he saw Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He said Dan Severn trained with their Jiu Jitsu guy back then. He said that fighting has been in the back of his mind since then. He said that the deal took a while because of back and forth with lawyers. He said that if anyone is more excited about this than him then it’s Dana and Lorenzo Fertita. He said they flew to Chicago and the deal got signed around Thanksgiving. He said he didn’t reach out to them until he was free and clear from WWE and just had casual conversations before then.

Punk’s response to people that say he’s a fake wrestler. He said that he will be less of a hot head and will see where they’re coming from and it’s his job to change their mind but he won’t deal with negativity. He hopes people are more creative when they call him out. He said his debut is up in the air. Punk said he assumes he’ll fight as a middleweight but he’ll be open to other weight classes. He’s dropped 15 pounds in training. Punk said he won’t fight until he’s ready but he won’t take forever because there’s a limited window. He said he might take a full 6 months to train and the goal is for him to fight in 2015. He said this is the first time he’s felt butterflies. He said a lot of people (including his wife) are supporting him. He said that he’s getting back what he puts into it and obviously he’s going to put in 100%. Ariel wished him good luck. Punk said luck is for losers.

Michael Bisping said again that he’s right here if Punk wants to fight him. He said it takes longer than 6 months though to learn how to fight.


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