From the moment CM Punk's controversial move to the UFC was announced, Cole Miller was quick to defend the signing having trained with the former pro-wrestler in the past. He may not have an extensive background in martial arts, but Miller not only says that the former WWE star will beat guys in the UFC, he believes Punk also has a better ground game than more than 50% of the fighters today.
The BJJ black belt in Miller spoke to MMA Fighting and gave Phil Brooks some very high praise:
"This guy doesn't just have a chance. He's gonna kick somebody's ass. I think he'll do very well. I don't think he's trying to make a 10-year career out of this. But he's going to shake things up, whoop some ass and prove a lot of people wrong. I expect him to do very well against whoever they put up against him."
CM Punk doesn't have a real amateur wrestling base, nor has he progressed enough to get promoted in jiujitsu, but Miller still estimates him to be better than most fighters on the ground:
"I think most MMA fighters don't have any kind of ground," Miller said. "Most of them aren't good at all. Even in the UFC. There are plenty of exceptions, but when I say most, I mean more than 50 percent are nothing more than OK blue belts on the ground. I would rate CM Punk definitely above that."
"The UFC is a business and I guarantee it's definitely into protecting its brand and business. If you think they would sign somebody that's gonna go in there and suck and is not skilled, you're crazy. When did you see somebody in the UFC that completely sucked? Never."
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While his assessment of Punk's skills is more reliable than others seeing that he's actually trained with the guy, I'm not quite sure I agree with Miller's rating of the rest of the field. There are countless BJJ black belts, Judo black belts, and high level wrestlers in the UFC, let alone those simply just above 'OK blue belts'.
Plus, this is Mixed Martial Arts, where being on par or having a slight advantage in one area may not mean much when you're completely out gunned with the rest of the facets of the game.
But of course, this may all be moot, since he likely won't be matched up against your average UFC-caliber guy anyway. Dana White has said that they plan on matching him against someone with a similar experience level, so it truly wouldn't be farfetched to think that Punk can actually 'kick ass' on his UFC debut.