On Saturday, Mickey Gall quickly submitted Mike Jackson to earn himself a summer showdown with CM Punk. The UFC even had Punk at cageside and then actually in the cage to meet his debut opponent. Today, the 37-year-old former WWE star told MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani that he'll once again have to delay his debut, as he undergoes surgery for a herniated disc.
"My back has always bugged me," Punk told MMAFighting.com. "Figured it was just wrestling sh*t. Turns out it was.
"It got bad enough to the point where I couldn't do anything the week before I went to train with the New Jersey Devils last month. One day I could manage, the next day I couldn't. I've been in agony for almost a month. Chiropractor, acupuncture, massage, cryotherapy ... nothing worked."
According to Punk, his doctor told him that he needed surgery "right before" Gall fought Jackson at UFC Fight Night 82, but "decided to keep that news for himself." He also says that the timetable for his recovery is 4-to-6 weeks, noting that the surgery is similar to the one Cain Velasquez recently underwent.
The goal is for him to still fight in 2016, but it's otherwise unknown as to the UFC's plans now that his debut has been delayed once again. Since his signing in December 2014, he's suffered a shoulder injury and now is set for back surgery, not to mention the fact that he had work done on his knee while he was still in the WWE in 2012.