Former pro wrestler CM Punk made his professional MMA and UFC debut at UFC 203, suffering a first round submission loss.
Duke Roufus serves as Punk’s coach and he claims the winless MMA fighter has improved since that first bout.
“200 percent [better],” said Roufus on The Luke Thomas Show. “I’m not even his coach. We were friends first before we did this. I would not do this with anyone else except for my friendship with him from before he decided to fight. He’s just one hell of a guy. He’s a celebrity but he’s different than a lot of celebrities I know. Great guy. He works his ass off. He’s very well-liked on our team and he’s improved a lot.”
Punk is expected to return to action at UFC 225 against Mike Jackson, who is also winless as a professional MMA fighter.
Roufus even admits that Gall was a tough first opponent for Punk, especially since Gall has done well in the UFC since their encounter.
“Let’s face it, Mickey Gall was a tough draw,” said Roufus. “He’s done quite well in the UFC so far. I think the UFC did the right thing. We don’t want to defame the sport or damage it by putting him in an un-legitimate fight. That being said, it’s very hard. They want him to come in and beat somebody, ya know?”
UFC 225 takes place on Saturday, June 9 from the United Center in Chicago, Illinois with Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.