UFC Hall of Famer and former WWE star Ken Shamrock spoke to Submission Radio this weekend about Phil Brooks, aka CM Punk, signing with the UFC.
On CM Punk going to the UFC
"I think it's great, I mean especially if he's got the ability. He sounds like he's got a great wrestling background, a really good wrestling background, and a guy like that - don't give him a guy that's a top 10 fighter. That's not fair, but if they'll give him a guy that's got 1-0 as a pro, or 1-1 as a pro, and start him out right like they should have done with Brock Lesnar - They should have probably gotten him [Lesnar] guys that didn't have 15 fights, and that weren't an ex-world champion for him to fight on his first, or second, or third fight - and groom this guy. I think it's tremendous. I mean a lot of guys are complaining "why is he in there?" this and that. Listen, I wouldn't be complaining about why he's in there, I'd be fighting my tail off to get on the undercard or to fight him. So some of these guys that are complaining out there, it's like you guys are really not looking at the big picture here. It's about dollars and cents! If he can put people in the seats and build this business to a bigger model, and be able to put more money into your pockets on the card, why are you getting mad about that? You should be wanting to be on that card. So I think it's a great move on the UFC's part and we will see if it's a great move on his part."
On if Ken thinks CM Punk can pick up the skills to be a UFC fighter at such an old age (36)
"If I was training him, I would put my reputation on it. Especially if he's getting the right fighter, somebody of his calibre that doesn't have five fights or ten fights as a pro. If you're going to give him somebody that's around his calibre 1-0, 2-1, something where it's reasonable. Especially with what I know about his background and what he's done before he became a pro wrestler, with his collegiate career and stuff like that [Editor's note: Brooks/Punk has zero amateur wrestling credentials, no collegiate competition experience at all] - I would put my reputation on it that I could get this guy to win his first fight. Just because I've done it through my whole career. I know how to take guys, I know how to mould them and I know how to beat the specific guy, especially when they don't have that much experience."
On if Ken Shamrock would train CM Punk
"I would take that in a heartbeat, because I just know what I could do with him. I know exactly what it would take for him to get a win."
On if Shamrock believes CM Punk returns to the WWE or stays in MMA
"I think if he brings the right people in; and I wouldn't suggest him trying to make a long career of the UFC, at least not right now. Not until you get a couple of fights under your belt and see where you're at. Especially at your age. But what I can see is for him to get a couple of fights under his belt, get those wins, and then his career in pro wrestling would sky rocket. But his thing is [that] he's got a lot of people around him right now that think they know what they're doing with him - and they may - but from what I'm hearing, they're trying to teach him a lot of stuff. And you know I'm not going to give away my secrets, but if he brings in the right people this guy could really sky rocket his career in pro wrestling. And if chooses to move on, then he could go for one big pay day and take the shot, and then he could step away. But you're [CM Punk] not going to have a long, long drive at this, because one) you're starting out at such a, you know older age, but you can make an impact in a short amount of time. And like I said, right now in his career where he's at right now, his biggest decision right now is making the right decision on who to bring in. That's the biggest decision right now."
On UFC Reebook Deal
"Again, I speak my mind and I don't say anything to try and hurt anybody or discredit anybody, but I think it's a bad move. I think that you're treading into waters where you're taking away opportunity from managers, from gyms, from fighters when you start handcuffing them and actually telling them what they have to wear, you know. You're going into some deep waters here, where you're gonna start getting things that you don't know that are down there, and you're going to start turning up some stuff that you don't need at this point, but yeah I don't like it. I think you're basically going in and you're really infringing on these guys, [they] might have some opportunities; which they're already taken that way when they have to prove it anyways. So a lot of this stuff is happening. I would like to know what they're getting in return, what are some of the benefits that the opposite - position of negotiation really it should be. I mean you're not telling a guy "hey this is what we're going to do, shut up and fight and like it" and I don't think that's what they're trying to do, but I think that there should be some opinions and some at least some concerns about what the fighters think about it and what the management thinks about it. Maybe they've done that. I don't know ‘cause I haven't really been paying attention, but again like I said, I really think that from the outside looking in - and I don't know what's going on in the inside and I could be completely speaking out of turn here - but it just doesn't look good to me."