Former WWE Champion turned professional MMA fighter CM Punk made his UFC and pro MMA debut at UFC 203, getting submitted by Mickey Gall in the first round of their encounter.
Anthony Pettis is a former UFC Lightweight Champion who trains alongside Punk at Roufusport and he claims that the former wrestler has improved a lot since UFC 203.
“I see him every day, man. That guy’s in the gym every day. He’s probably one of the hardest workers in the gym. He’s always there, always improving, and yeah, he’s definitely gotten better. You put that much time into [the game], you’re going to get better. He’s working the gi, he’s working no-gi. He’s training with top-level UFC guys inside his weight class, so I think we should see a better performance,” Pettis said on The MMA Hour.
Punk is rumored to be fighting Mike Jackson at UFC 225, but nothing has been made official at this time.
Pettis, who is competing at UFC 223, claims that one huge reason that Punk has improved so much is that he is always training in the gym.
“It doesn’t surprise me. He’s a competitor, man. And he loves the grind. I don’t know what else he’d be doing if he wasn’t doing this. He’s just, he’s always in the gym. So in the short time I’ve known him for his first fight to this fight, it’s the same, the dude is just pushing hard, man. He’s grinding, he’s getting better, he’s putting the mat time in, and there’s no way around getting better besides putting the mat time in," says Pettis.
UFC 223 takes place on Saturday, April 7 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.