While speaking with the Associated Press last month, UFC president Dana White said that he was “working on” giving former WWE Superstar CM Punk another chance to compete in the Octagon.
“I like that guy. He’s a good dude,” White said. “He wants to give it another shot. I’m going to give it to him.”
The UFC signed Punk in late 2014, despite zero fighting experience. He made his mixed martial arts debut at UFC 203 in September 2016 and was badly outclassed in a first-round submission loss to Mickey Gall.
At that time, White admitted Punk’s next fight “probably shouldn’t be in the UFC.”
Apparently, he has had a change of heart.
“He’s a completely different case than most normal human beings,” White said. “So, I’m going to give him another shot.”
Punk, now 39 years old, trains out of Roufusport MMA in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Before his unsuccessful MMA debut, he adamantly stated he intended to fight more than once and was not simply looking for a one-off for financial reasons.
White didn’t reveal a date for when Punk would fight again, nor did he mention a potential opponent for him then. And while both of those variables still remain unconfirmed, it seems that the UFC is getting closer to making things official.
Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting reported yesterday that the UFC is discussing Punk vs. Mike Jackson for their pay-per-view at the United Center in Chicago on June 9. Chicago is, of course, Punk’s hometown, and he tweeted out a pair of emojis when the show was announced last weekend.
The UFC arrives June 9th for our first PPV in the Windy City. #UFC225 pic.twitter.com/i3QBms3fAu
— UFC (@ufc) February 4, 2018
— Coach (@CMPunk) February 4, 2018
Helwani wrote that discussions are in the early stages and no final decision has been made yet.
Jackson’s only pro fight was in February 2016 against Gall, with Gall winning in 45 seconds and cementing himself as the person Punk would make his debut against.
Duke Roufus, who coaches Punk at Roufusport, claimed last month that Punk has “improved dramatically” since being submitted by Gall.
UFC 225 will be the company’s first-ever pay-per-view event in Chicago.