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Transcription: How Duke Roufus coached CM Punk at UFC 203

Read the corner advice CM Punk received from Duke Roufus during his UFC 203 loss to Mickey Gall.

MMA: UFC 203-Gall vs Punk John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

At last month’s UFC 203 in Cleveland, Ohio, CM Punk’s MMA debut ended in a swift defeat to Mickey Gall. The former WWE star lasted just 2 minutes and 14 seconds before tapping to Gall’s rear-naked choke. It’s not definitively known whether or not Punk will get a 2nd crack in the UFC, so only time will tell us if that comes to fruition.

CM Punk trained for his MMA debut at Roufusport, so as expected, he was cornered by Duke Roufus, one of the longtime familiar coaches in MMA, who’s most notably the coach for former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis. This was always a tough task for Punk to get the W, and obviously there’s only so much someone like Roufus can do when coaching a 37-year-old with zero prior MMA experience, who is otherwise up against a talented prospect.

So just what did Roufus say to Punk during the fight? Here’s the complete transcription of Duke’s in-fight instructions (plus the pre-fight pep talk and post-fight comments), courtesy of the UFC Fight Pass “red corner” audio feature. There are also accompanying footnotes in parentheses to contextualize specific moments in the bout (not like you can have that many in a one-sided 2:14 fight).

A link to the UFC 203 card, available for all Fight Pass subscribers, is right here.


Roufus: “You got this. I’m so proud of you now. Now remember, keep moving forward. Let’s go for that right hand right away [and] put him on his ass. If it don’t work, put him on the cage. You got this!”


Roufus: (CM Punk throws the right hand right away, gets taken down instead) “Alright. Good guard. Breathe. (Corner 2: “Close your guard!”) Relax, relax. Defend. Good, tie him up, tie him up, tie him up. Tie him up, Punk. There you go! (Corner 2: “Work all the way up!) Work the other hand, get the underhook. Underhook, Punk. I need left underhook, Punk! Left underhook. Turn, turn, get that underhook, Punk! Turn into him. On your right hip! On your right hip! On your right hip! (Gall briefly mounts Punk, but Punk turns on his right hip and momentarily escapes.) There you go.”


Roufus: “There you go, good. Fight the wrists. Hang in there, you’re doing good. Breathe, inch-by-inch. Control the wrist. Control that wrist, you’re good. Good. (Corner 2: “Breathe, you got this.) There you go! You’re good. Fight the hand again. Turn, turn, turn! Other way! Gotta turn the other way, son. (CM Punk turns to his left, has his back taken, flattened out, and takes ground-and-pound from Gall) Move, move! Come up, come up. Gotta roll, gotta roll. Gotta move! You’re good. (Corner 2: “Move, Punk, move.”) Let’s make a move, make a move. (Gall attempts the rear-naked choke) Fight the choke, fight the choke. Fight. Peel the top hand, good, good. Peel the top hand! Good. Peel the top hand. Top hand, Punk! Reach up, both hands (CM Punk taps) awwww. That’s alright. Yup.”


Roufus to Punk: “Hey, it’s alright buddy. You did good, alright? It’s all good. All good. Alright? It’s all good, man.”

Roufus to Gall: “Hey Mickey, congratulations champ.”

Gall replies to Roufus: “It’s an honor.”

Roufus replies to Gall: “Oh thanks.”

Roufus to Punk: “It’s alright, man. It’s all good, all good man. It’s a fight, shit happens. Put this on.”


And that concludes another UFC 203 transcription for this week. If you want to read how Edmond Tarverdyan coached Travis Browne against Fabricio Werdum, check out Victor Rodriguez’s post in this link.

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