A huge chunk of MMA fans quite expected the outcome of CM Punk’s first UFC fight to go exactly how it did. In less than three minutes, the former WWE superstar was tapping to a rear-naked choke at the hands of Mickey Gall.
After the unfavorable outcome, Dana White stated that Punk “probably will not” be getting another fight in the UFC. However, trainer Duke Roufus revealed in an interview last week that White and Punk were in talks for another UFC fight, adding he personally sees it happening in “four to five months.”
The one redeeming factor of Punk’s UFC stint is the buyrate he was able to draw. Reports have claimed that the pay-per-view buys of his debut at UFC 203 last September were at the 425,000 to 475,000 range, marking the first non-McGregor or Rousey-headlined show in 2016 that did such numbers. Gall recognizes this fact, but says the sport’s legitimacy could suffer if Punk does make a UFC return.
"I don't know. I mean, he's definitely going to help your pay-per-view and he brings that other audience. But for kinda the legitimacy of the sport, I think it may water it down a little bit," Gall said on Monday’s edition of the MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting).
If Punk does end up getting another chance in the UFC, he would likely be matched up against another lower-tiered opponent. But even so, Gall says whoever that fighter is - any other name in the roster or not - would be able to handle Punk the way he did.
"I think he'll be dealt (with) the same way I dealt him. If he fights a UFC caliber guy, I think they'll do it in the same way. So I think in hindsight, he probably should've taken some regional fights, amateur fighters, smaller shows. But I think that's ballsy of him to want to come back."