Well, it wasn’t pretty.
CM Punk was defeated by Mickey Gall at UFC 203. Punk went at Gall quickly, but Gall took Punk down to the ground and never let him back up. Gall forced Punk to tap out to a rear naked choke at 2:1 of the 1st round.
Many people were quick to jump on Punk. His critics were quick to shout from the rooftops that they were right. CM Punk didn’t belong in the octagon. It was all a publicity stunt and a waste of UFC’s time.
But those critics were wrong.
CM Punk looked out classed, but he should have gained your respect. He actually fought his way out of a couple submissions before actually submitting. Plus, he did something that the majority of his critics will never do: step into the octagon.
Throughout the entire process, CM Punk was nothing but humble and respectful. He didn’t come in proclaiming to be a great mixed martial artist. He knew he would have to bust his ass to make his debut. Punk could have easily given up when he was faced with injury setbacks. Or when he endured early struggles in his training. But Punk stuck to his guns and was determined to fight. He didn’t care what people said. CM Punk made it clear that he was doing this for him and nothing else.
In the days leading up to the fight Punk showed no fear. And I don’t think it was a show. If you followed CM Punk during his wrestling career, you know that he doesn’t lack confidence. Punk always believed he was the best wrestler in the world. Now I’m sure he didn’t believe he was the best MMA Fighter in the world, he believed in his ability to compete and win his fight. He didn’t shake Mickey Gall’s hand at the weigh-ins. And when he came out for his fight, he circled the octagon and walked right past Gall. (By the way, what wrestling fan didn’t pop when they heard Cult of Personality play?)
The fight may not have gone CM Punk’s way, but he definitely earned a lot of people’s respect last night. You could tell Punk was upset with himself after the fight. Punk is a perfectionist and always wants the best out of himself. He didn’t get it last night. But as he was throughout the entire process, CM Punk was humble in defeat. Punk said this wasn’t the end of his journey. He called UFC 203 the most fun he’s ever had and the second best night of his life after marrying his wife AJ Lee. And really, if you get to go home to AJ every night, you always win. Punk went on to say to never give up on your dreams even if someone says no.
Punk was hard on himself after the fight. He said he felt that he let his coaches down. But while Punk may have let people down with the result, he didn’t let us down with our respect. CM Punk will always be one of my favorite wrestlers. But I gained even more respect for him after UFC 203. I can never imagine what it would be like stepping into a MMA fight. I don’t want too. Punk didn’t make it out of the first round and it looked like he went through a war. But Punk stuck to his guns and went through with it. And you have to give him respect for that. The only people who don’t want to are the “hardcore MMA bros” who called Punk a phony. Well guess what, those same guys also have never stepped into the octagon. Punk did. So he will always be more of a man than you.
CM Punk could have come in and acted as a big star because of his name. Instead, CM Punk started from the bottom and worked his way up. He was humble throughout the entire process. And he was gracious in defeat. CM Punk should have earned the respect of the MMA world throughout this process.
CM Punk may have lost in the record books, but he won in the eyes of many fans tonight.
Until Next Time,
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka