As the date inches closer to CM Punk's UFC debut, more questions about his progression are raised. Punk's head coach Duke Roufus thinks Punk's training has been coming along very well.
Roufus recently spoke with MMAmania.com and said that Punk's work ethic has been incredible and as good as hungry, young fighters who have come from humble beginnings and have big goals for their future.
"He doesn’t have to do this," Roufus said. "That’s what is special about it. That’s what’s inspiring. A lot of my guys are fighting to get out. We have a lot of kids come from rough upbringings. Their motivation is… Anthony bought his mom a house and car. Emmanuel Sanchez—a Bellator fighter—bought his mom a car last year. A lot of my guys come from humble beginnings, but to see a guy who has a lot, work just as hard as the kid over here who has nothing, I just bow down and give him so much respect. That's what our team is built on is respect for one another."
On the Evolution of Punk documentary series, Punk worked on his striking and submission skills a lot and Roufus commented on how much he is improving since signing with UFC in late 2014.
"He can hit," Roufus said. "He’s got a punch. He can crack. But, every day he is getting better. Again, he just took down a good wrestler the other day. He’s submitting guys I’m surprised he’s submitting. So, he’s taking turns. The cool thing is we are only a few years into this, so his growth phase is still very strong. He’s growing every week where sometimes fighters the higher they get their growth gets slower. His is coming fast. I saw him become a completely different dude. That is what we are doing today. We are getting together with all the submission coaches and just working these scenarios and getting him ready. Nobody knows they can fight until they get in there and fight. So we are trying to do everything in our power so he can get in that Octagon and go full tilt."
The former WWE Champion's progression will be put under the test at UFC 203 against Mickey Gall. Fightful will have complete coverage of Punk's debut as well as the entire card.