CM Punk Planned To Leave WWE In 2010-11 To Pursue MMA Full-Time

CM Punk had plans to enter the world of MMA before his first fight in 2016.

In December 2014, Punk announced he signed a multi-fight deal with the UFC. Nearly two years later, Punk competed in his first MMA fight at UFC 203 in September 2016. The fight lasted two minutes and 14 seconds with Punk tapping to Mickey Gall.

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Speaking to Renee Paquette on Oral Sessions, Punk discussed his decision to jump into the Octagon and his original plan before he was given an offer he couldn't refuse.

"I always wanted to do it and being on the road for how long WWE people are on the road for, I could never train consistently. I had planned on leaving when my deal was up at the end of 2010 or 2011. If I was going to train, it was never going to be just a hobby for me. So, I was going to leave, I needed time off anyway, and I would devote full-time to training. I wasn't a big enough name to where I thought everyone would be like, 'it's a spectacle and everyone wants to watch you fight.' So, I was going to do it 'the right way' (where I would) train and do amateur fights. The way I did everything was 100% backward. It's easy for someone to say, 'this bum went right to UFC, he didn't deserve it,' but they often don't understand the business, let alone the fight business. People say, 'Oh, I'll get beat up for $1 million.' My retort to that is 'do the work I did to get to the point where someone would offer you that money to see you fight.' 73 Twitter followers doesn't equate to a million-dollar payday. I got hot at the end of my WWE run and was faced with an opportunity; re-sign for three more years even though I was already shot and mentally and physically exhausted. I obviously re-signed and had to wait another three years. The idea was to do it before I got too old. Turns out, I was too old," he said.

Punk returned to the octagon at UFC 225 in June 2018, losing a lopsided decision to Mike Johnson.

Since losing his second fight, Punk has done commentary work for Cage Fury Fighting Championships.

Elsewhere on the podcast, Punk discussed unionization in wrestling. You can find his full comments by clicking here.

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