After Mickey Gall earned the right to be CM Punk’s first UFC opponent this past weekend, anticipation for the former WWE World Champion’s MMA debut was at a fever pitch. Some even believed that Punk will fight Gall at UFC 199 or 200 in July. Turns out, those plans are being put on hold.
Punk, real name Phil Brooks, has been dealing with a nagging back injury since his WWE days and it looks like the injury is severe enough to push back his projected UFC debut. “My back has always bugged me,” Punk told MMAFighting.com in an interview. “Figured it was just wrestling sh*t. Turns out it was.
“It got bad enough to the point where I couldn’t do anything the week before I went to train with the New Jersey Devils last month. One day I could manage, the next day I couldn’t. I’ve been in agony for almost a month. Chiropractor, acupuncture, massage, cryotherapy … nothing worked.”
Punk joined the UFC in December 2014 to much hype after his falling out with the WWE, but has yet to step inside the octagon due to injury setbacks. On Saturday, Punk learned that he would be facing the 24-year-old Gall in his debut after Gall defeated fellow UFC newcomer Mike Jackson via a first-round rear-naked choke. Coincidentally for Punk, MMAFighting.com reports that he was advised by his doctor right before the fight that he needed surgery, but Punk decided to keep that news to himself. Whether or not Punk ever fights in the UFC is now a real question, but Punk himself says he isn’t worried.
“This is just a bump in the road,” he said. “I’m positive about this.”
Photo Credit: MMA Fighting