The MMA world was buzz last weekend, not necessarily because of Robbie Lawler’s split-decision title win over Johny Hendricks.
There was speculation leading up to the minutes of UFC 181, whispers that former world professional wrestling champion Phil Brooks – a.k.a C.M. Punk – was going to be a mixed martial artist.
Then Brooks – which is what I will refer to this person as from now on – appeared next to Joe Rogan and announced that he had signed a multi-fight contract with the UFC.
First, I’ll say congrats to Brooks for getting an opportunity that many fighters have spent their whole lives waiting for. Brooks is unsure who will be training with – my guess is Team Quest so he’ll be with his buddy Chael Sonnen – or his weight – probably middleweight or light heavyweight. Despite his lack of grappling and striking credentials, not to mention no experience in the cage, Brooks will have some success in the octagon.
Brooks isn’t making any big predictions – even saying that “he might fall flat on his face” – but I think he’ll at least win his first fight. The UFC is paying a lot of money for him and like any business, they want to protect their investment. But maybe Brooks is just that good. He likes to troll fans and pull out surprises. For all we know, Brooks might be the most dangerous fighter on the planet … like Alexandra Albu.
While Brooks will get a “1” in the win column, I’m going to say that he will never be a world champion. Brooks is really just doing this as kind of a tryout. He’ll put in the training before his bouts, but he doesn’t seem to have the commitment of going that extra mile to become a champion. He might change his mind at a later date, but right now his interest only seems to be in a couple of appearances in the cage.
Aside from getting hurt and a lot of “I told you so” tweets coming is way, Brooks doesn’t have a lot to lose in this fight. The same can’t be said for his unnamed opponent.
Whoever faces Brooks has nothing to gain in this fight. If he beats Brooks, he defeated a former pro wrestler who is 0-0. If he loses, then he lost to a 0-0 former pro wrestler and might even be cut from the UFC roster – assuming the promotion doesn’t rehire someone to fight Brooks. If I were that guy, I’d ask for a hefty paycheck before stepping into the cage with Brooks.
Although fans and fighters might hate Brooks’ deal, it’s something they’ll have to live with for the moment. We won’t know how this will pan out until we see the former WWE champion step inside of the octagon.