WWE Champion and Chicago native CM Punk will walk out with Chael Sonnen at UFC on Fox 2.
A good segment of the MMA universe hates professional wrestling to no end. Any links between the two (see Brock Lesnar) are dismissed and disregarded by this segment quickly and with vitriol. One of the founders of this very site has gone on record with how much he dislikes the use of wrestling terms when discussing MMA.
Those people will then hate the news that came out Wednesday that WWE Champion and MMA enthusiast CM Punk will walk out with Chael Sonnen in his UFC On Fox 2 middleweight contender's match against Mark Munoz on Saturday, January 28.
The rumor was posted on the UG by FrontRowBrian and Sonnen confirmed the news Tuesday, according to MMA/pro wrestling expert Dave Meltzer. MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani confirmed that Punk will not corner Sonnen during the fight.
The news again puts the spotlight on the informal partnership of sorts between the WWE and the UFC that has existed for years. Steve Austin, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, The Undertaker (Mark Calloway) and Dave Batista have all regularly attended UFC events with a famous post-fight staredown between Calloway and Lesnar during an Helwani interview making headlines in both industries.
Lesnar himself successfully made the jump to MMA after leaving WWE in 2004, while Batista was in talks with pre-Zuffa Strikeforce until last year. Former WWE standout Bobby Lashley has competed in Strikeforce and on the regional circuit for several years with varying success. In 2011, Dana White famously visited WWE chairman Vince McMahon in Stamford, CT, but didn't go into details about what and why.
Punk (Phil Brooks) appeared on the 100th edition of The MMA Hour with Helwani and is from Chicago. Meltzer said that Punk was taken off a WWE house show event that night, meaning they had to grant him permission to appear at the UFC event. Sonnen is known for his "wrestling style" promos and did a tryout at World Championship Wrestling's Power Plant training facility after graduating college.