Former WWE champion CM Punk, who’s real name is Phil Brooks, has signed a multi-fight deal with the UFC. The announcement was made during Saturday night’s UFC 181 pay-per-view.
Punk left pro wrestling after a dispute with the promotion. He has trained in various degrees of mixed martial arts, including with the Gracie brothers.
“My pro wrestling days are over,” he said. “It is awesome to be here. This is something that has been in the back of my mind for a very long time. The idea of being able to step in the Octagon and find out what’s inside myself, to test myself (is exciting).
“I have a limited window; it is now or never. I fully intent to get in there, fight and either kick my ass kicked or kick some ass.”
Brooks stated that he would likely compete at middleweight, but is going to plan a trial weight cut and see if welterweight could be his division.
“It is all systems go after (Saturday),” he said. “I have nothing but respect for all of the UFC fighters. This is my new career and I plan on giving it 100-percent effort.”
The 36-year-old Brooks was a three-time WWE heavyweight champion and two-time WWE champion, including becoming the 19th Triple Crown winner in promotion history. He follows in the footsteps of Brock Lesnar, who competed for the WWE before winning the UFC heavyweight title.
Lesnar has since returned to pro wrestling, though rumors continue to run rampant concerning a return to MMA in 2015.