Davey Boy Smith, Jr., does not think that CM Punk's UFC loss was a bad thing or hurt professional wrestling.
The second-generation wrestler weighed in on the mixed martial arts career of his fellow WWE alum during a recent interview with Hannibal TV. Punk had his first, and so far, only, professional MMA fight at UFC 203 where he lost decisively to Mickey Gall in the first round via submission.
"I'll say this off the bat," Smith said. "I give Phil [Brooks], or CM Punk, I give him credit for going out there and doing the fight. A lot of people, a lot of fighters I would say, in the UFC were probably mad because he got, what, 500 grand for the fight? ... You can't really blame Punk for that.he guy to blame for that is the people paying the money."
Smith added that, prior to the fight at UFC 203, he spoke with Josh Barnett -- who trained with Punk -- about his chances inside the Octagon.
"I know he did go train with Josh Barnett, and Josh had told me, sort of when we were just chatting, that he needed a lot of work," Smith said, "and I know that Josh is a very smart guy with fighters and fighting and teaching. And I would take his word, basically, over anybody's if his advice or his opinion on somebody being ready or not being ready to be in a cage over anybody's. I mean the guy has been around MMA for 20 years. And he knows pro wrestling and he would know sort of what Punk's stature is. For him to say that, I believed him and I knew that when he was stepping into the Octagon that it was a big risk and I didn't think that he was going to win, to be honest with you. I didn't think it was a bad idea just because he had one UFC fight under his belt and he made half a million dollars. He can move on and do whatever else he wants to do. I think that it would've been better if he had some, I don't want to say easier fights but maybe if Bellator had offered him something and kind of built up his record. Because fighting anyone in the UFC, even if it's a lower-ranked guy, they're professional fighters and that's what they do for a living. Everybody there in the UFC who's fighting now is basically a stud. They're going to be a specialist in something—if it's striking, if it's wrestling … if it's grappling on the ground. To be able to get up there you have to have a certain amount of pro fights, so everybody there is pretty much a stud. There are no pushovers. So, was it a bad thing? Well, I mean I don't really think it hurt pro wrestling cause everybody seems to think that it's fake or this and that, and that's because of the way things have happened and the way things have been exploited. But also, that people know that if it's pre-determined and stuff, they still want to be entertained, but they still almost want to believe 'Oh, is that really real? "
The son of "British Bulldog" Davey Boy Smith, he worked as David Hart Smith in WWE, enjoying his most success in the tag division with Tyson Kidd as the Hart Dynasty. Since getting released from WWE in the summer of 2011, Smith has wrestled extensively in Japan while also training in both catch wrestling and mixed martial arts.
Another WWE alum, Alberto El Patron, also has voiced his opinion that it was a mistake for Punk's first MMA fight to take place on the UFC stage.
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