Shortly after CM Punk lost a one-sided bout to Mickey Gall at UFC 203, Dana White spoke to the media and said that the former pro-wrestler probably shouldn’t have his next bout in the UFC.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks later, and it seems like White has softened his stance on the matter. When asked directly if we’ll see Punk back in the UFC, White was non-comittal.
“I’ve got to talk to him,” White told TMZ. “He called me the night of the fight. We talked. He was on his way home.”
“I told him to go spend some time with his wife and live like a normal person for a while, and then we’ll get on the phone and talk about what’s next.”
Nothing seems final at this point, but a change in tune is unsurprising, as UFC 203 did quite well in terms of pay-per-view sales. While some fighters complained about his disclosed $500,000 paycheck, that seems to have ended up as a real bargain for the UFC, with the former WWE star being estimated to have generated several million in revenue for the promotion.
People like fellow WWE star Goldberg, argue that from a sporting perspective, it’s “blasphemy” to let him have a second bout, but business-wise it makes sense to keep him than to let other orgs benefit. Interest in another fight will likely drop off a bit after his first performance, but there is still a lot of money to be made.
That’s why I wouldn’t be surprised if they gave him another bout directly, or if they worked him into some type of reality show first.