CM Punk stood in the ring a thoroughly battered and beaten man. Nearly two years worth of buildup culminated in a match with Mickey Gall that lasted half of a round, and was decided well before that.
Punk nevertheless attempted to spin the decimation into a positive, saying it was the second best night of his life after his wedding night. He characterized the squash as an inspiration for kids to follow their dreams, and to pick themselves up and fight again after they’ve been knocked down.
While acknowledging that this was by far the most gracious way Punk could have handled this annihilation, and that it took major cojones for him to expose himself to it, nobody is trying to see him have a real fight again; these were his stats in UFC:
Dana White has already said that Punk “probably shouldn’t have his next fight in the UFC.” Of course, there’s some wiggle room there. When I said “nobody” would watch him fight a real fight again, that was hyperbole. He couldn’t draw money for a PPV anymore, but there’d be an audience for him on an FS1 telecast.
And there’s also Bellator, which just this year ran a match between Kimbo Slice and Dada 5000. The latter was hospitalized in critical condition after the fight, and Slice died of heart failure less than four months later. If they’d sanction that fight, they’d presumably sign up for the spectacle of CM Punk.
Watching another slaughter would not be particularly interesting. Would it be compelling to see him in an MMA fight against someone who’s not that good, where he’s got a legit chance to win? Maybe?
The pro wrestling fan in me would love for CM Punk to return to that discipline, hat in hand. This would not require capitulation to Vince McMahon; he could ply his trade in New Japan or TNA, and be an immediate huge draw.
But, this wouldn’t totally jibe with his “get back up” mentality. From the outside, it would seem hubristic for CM Punk to fight in another MMA match. He’ll be 38 years old next month, and there were zero moments in Saturday’s match that showed any sign of promise for future combat. He deserves all the credit in the world for trying, but he really shouldn’t try again.