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Posted on March 15, 2015 by Jack Thurman
To use a bit of pro wrestling slang, the UFC is doing everything they can to make sure that their latest big name acquisition ‘gets over’. Former WWE champion CM Punk will acompany UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis to the octagon for his title defense against top ranked challenger Rafael Dos Anos.
Punk is training for his as of yet unannounced MMA debut. The reason for his appearance with Pettis is not only for ‘exposure’–he trains with Pettis at Duke Roufus’ Roufusport in Milwaukee. He’s getting a good background in his new sport from Pettis and former Olympic wrestler Ben Askren. Although he admitted that learning MMA is challenging, Punk says that he enjoys it: “From my point of view, I have the easiest job in the world. I just have to train every day and bust my ass every day. … Literally it’s the easiest job in the world to me. All I have to do is work really, really, really, really hard. It’s easy to me. I’m not afraid of hard work.”
Asked about the timetable for his UFC debut Punk responded: “I probably want to fight sooner than Duke (Roufus) and the rest of the coaches want me to. But that’s just because I want to fight.”
Not long ago, CM Punk was among the biggest stars in pro wrestling. That marked the apex of a long, tough road through independent promotions in the US and around the world, followed by a move to the WWE. Though he’ll never get the credit, he was instrumental in revitalizing the WWE’s business during a lull and was one of the rare stars that combined charisma with in ring working ability. He left the WWE after a rancorous falling out with management, most notably Triple H who is married to Vince McMahon’s daughter Stephanie. Punk has said that his relationship with Vince himself isn’t bad but that he doesn’t expect to be invited back as long as Triple H is in a position of prominence. After leaving the WWE he took some time off before making the surprising move to MMA.