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CM Punk says that MMA would not exist without WWE

LockerRoom Team
10 April 2024

Since his return to WWE late last year, CM Punk has been a subject of much discussion among fans. While many know him for his exploits in professional wrestling, some are aware of his brief foray into mixed martial arts (MMA), where he competed twice in the UFC, experiencing defeats on both occasions.

For his efforts in MMA, Punk has faced his share of criticism and ridicule. However, amidst the scrutiny, there are fans who admire his willingness to step into the cage and compete.

In a recent interview with ESPN on a UFC 300 preview show, Punk spoke candidly about the intertwined relationship between pro wrestling and MMA, shedding light on the profound impact of wrestling on the evolution of MMA as a sport.

"MMA as we currently know it wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for professional wrestling," remarked Punk during the interview. "Conversely, a fun flip side of the coin is I know so many people that if MMA was a viable option like it is today, to make a living, get paid, never would have gotten into professional wrestling."

Punk elaborated further, citing examples of athletes like Ken Shamrock and Kurt Angle, whose careers straddled both wrestling and MMA. He speculated on how the landscape of combat sports might have differed if MMA had been as lucrative as it is today during their respective eras.

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"Go back to Bo Nickal, if MMA didn’t exist today, look at all these guys that would be pro wrestlers," Punk mused. "As human beings, it’s in our DNA. Fighting is in our DNA. To me, mixed martial arts is the ultimate test that you can put yourself through."

As Punk prepares for his return to WWE, his reflections on the symbiotic relationship between wrestling and MMA offer insight into the interconnectedness of combat sports and the enduring allure of competition in various forms.

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