CM Punk is featured in a fascinating Q&A piece with Rolling Stone. In it, Punk talks about leaving WWE for UFC, telling his wife AJ Lee about MMA aspirations and more.
In the first quote, Punk shoots on the lack of communication from the WWE office. He talks about being suspended by the company but not even being told about it and how they ran shows less than 10 minutes from his house but didn't come to talk with him. On the other hand, Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta flew to Chicago to meet with him about a possible deal with UFC.
We’ve pulled some excerpts and have compiled them below:
What convinced him UFC would be more positive than working for WWE:
I'm not sure I did know. If I can maybe throw out an example of how things are different – the lack of communication from the WWE office was astounding. They said they suspended me and never contacted me. They were in my town, about an eight-minute drive from my house multiple times, and didn't feel like it was necessary to come try and talk to me, so I assumed that they didn't want to talk to me.
Then, you've got Dana and [UFC CEO] Lorenzo Fertitta wanting to talk to me, and they get on a jet and fly to Chicago to talk to me. So that pretty much told me exactly how Dana and Lorenzo do business. I'm sure there are other people out there who have different situations with them, but they're playing straight with me. And being backstage [at last Saturday's UFC 181] and introducing everybody to my wife, it was such a great experience. And I'm sure part of that is the name value and who I am, but everyone seemed to be happy, which is different and odd for me.
Telling his wife — AJ Lee — about MMA aspirations:
After I spoke with Dana and Lorenzo, that's when it got serious and that's when I brought it to her attention. Trust me, whatever nerves I'm gonna have stepping into the Octagon will pale in comparison to the nerves I had when I had to bring this up to my wife. I was honestly terrified. I was like, "She's gonna shut it down, and I'm gonna have to figure out a way to smooth it over so I can do this, because I don't take no for an answer, she doesn't take no for an answer, and this is something I really wanna do." Right off the bat she recognized that. She's been around me long enough to know that, ever since the first day I met her, this is something I talked about doing, and she's not somebody that's gonna step in front of her husband trying to accomplish something that he dreamed about.
Skills that might surprise some people:
I would definitely surprise people with my ground game. I'm very comfortable on the ground. I think it'd be great if, once we nail down a fight date and an opponent, I think it's gonna be wonderful if he underestimates me.
Is his move to UFC part of a bigger plan to build the business of Phil Brooks?:
Sure, but that's not the sole purpose of doing it. Obviously, because it's such a high-profile move and all eyes are on me right now, yeah, why wouldn't you classify that as the building of a brand or a business? That's what it is. I could easily just not be doing interviews and telling people, "No, I'm gonna hole up here and train, and you're never gonna see me until I fight," but that's unrealistic. I think somewhere along the lines after I disappeared from WWE, people got this idea that I hate being famous. And if anybody is famous, they know that fame isn't really a thing. Fame is an apparition. Fame is a side effect of success. I did not wake up one day and say, "I wanna be famous." I did not wake up and say, "I wanna be a UFC fighter." I woke up and said, "I want to be successful at something I want to do. I want to fight."
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