Earlier this month, it was announced that CM Punk's (real name Phil Brooks) UFC debut had been pushed back due to a shoulder injury suffered in training. From the moment his shoulder popped during a scramble, Punk knew it was trouble.
While the injury wasn't as serious as initially suspected (an MRI revealed that there was no tear to his shoulder), the former WWE star says it has been a massive setback to his MMA career.
"It was one of those pops where everybody in the room just turns and looks," Punk told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour."I'd be fine if I could train, if I could do something," Punk said. "But just kind of sitting around waiting for the MRI that week was pretty miserable. Riding the bike hurt. Jumping rope hurt. But it's a lot better now."
What's most frustrating to Brooks is that all the aspects of his training were coming together nicely before the injury.
"It's kind of the most frustrating thing about it," he said. ... "I felt like I was turning the corner a little bit in some aspects."
The 36-year-old has also had to deal with overwhelming negativity on social media since Duke Roufus reported the injury. Punk has been criticized for signing with the UFC with no professional or amateur fights to his resume. Unlike Brock Lesnar, Brooks has no competitive experience in amateur wrestling or any other combat sports.
The former professional wrestler feels as though the injury should have stayed behind closed doors. "Whatever happens in the gym stays in the gym," he said.
Punk was optimistic about fighting by the end of the year, but since the injury, Roufus told ESPN that it will be another six to ten months before he makes his UFC appearance. The whole thing has been a "bummer", according to Brooks.
"It is a bummer. The whole thing is a bummer."
(Transcripts via MMAFighting)