It was better than his UFC debut well, at least it lasted longer but Phil “CM Punk” Brooks’ performance in his second MMA fight still left much to be desired.Punk (0-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC) was bloodied and outclassed as he dropped aunanimous decisionto MMA journalist/part-time fighter Mike Jackson (1-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) earlier this month at UFC 225. The loss was a follow-up to Punk’s disastrous 2016 debut that ended without him landing a single significant strike in his first-round submission loss to Mickey Gall.Combine that result with with Punk’s showing at UFC 225, and it’s no surprise UFC President Dana White to declared after the pay-per-view thats it for his UFC career.But still, even if criticism of Punk’s fighting ability is fair game, there’s something to be said for the former WWE star even stepping into the octagon, which is what UFC lightweight prospect Sage Northcutt focused on when speaking about Punk in an appearance on the latest episode of “I Could Never Be.”
“He’s a very nice guy, and I know that he’s got to be putting in the training and effort,” said Northcutt, who met Punk once before while training with Tyron Woodley at Roufusport in Milwaukee. “It takes a while to be able to get to the, I guess, get all the skill set that these guys that train 20 or 30 years for, have been in the UFC for so long, have trained their whole lives for. So, he came from WWE and now fighting for the UFC, I think it took him so much courage. It takes anybody courage to be able to step out there in the octogon and fight, and I think he did a great job.”Northcutt (10-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) shares a common opponent with Punk. The 22-year-old prospect also was submitted by Gall(4-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) in a 2016 welterweight bout that followed Gall’s win over Punk. Since that defeat, Northcutt has dropped to lightweight and won two in a row.
While White has informally declared Punk’s UFC career to be finished, there’s no guarantee that’s the case. Punk, for his part, hasn’t officially announced he’s giving up on MMA.
So, if Punk does land a third fight, Northcutt doesn’t have a problem with it.
“I guess it’s up to him to see what he’s going to do, but I know that if he does have another fight, he’ll be training super hard for it, and he’s got to,” Nortcutt said. “And if he does it, he definitely has the courage and bravery to get out there because not everybody can do that.”Nortchutt will next face Zak Ottow at UFC Fight Night 133, which takes placeJuly 14 at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho and airs on FS1 following prelims on UFC Fight Pass.For complete coverage ofUFC 225, check out theUFC Eventssection of the site.