mma / News

CM Punk’s Pro Wrestling Experience Helped Get Him Licensed For UFC 203

September 6, 2016 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas

CM Punk’s UFC 203 fight against Mickey Gall was made possible due, in part, to his professional wrestling experience. MMAjunkie spoke with Ohio Athletic Commission Executive Director Bernie Profato, who acknowledged that Punk’s experience in sports entertainment was a factor in the commission waiving its usual requirement that a professional MMA fighter have at least five amateur fights before being licensed. Gall’s relative inexperience in MMA and Punk’s training at Roufusport were also factors in the waiver. Some highlights from the interview are below:

On Punk’s wrestling experience: “We felt this was no different than, basically, the Brock Lesnar situation, when they let him fight in the UFC. We have confidence in the matchmaking of the UFC. It looks like a competitive fight.”

On the fight being on the main card: “If it was that weak a fight, it would have been one of the preliminary-card fights. It’s a competitive fight. It may not be one of the greatest fights on the card, but it’s a competitive fight.”

On the five fight rule: “The five-fight rule, we’ve waived it a number of times, especially for Ohio State wrestlers. We used the Lesnar situation as an example to approve it. When (professional wrestlers) get that high, they have a massive training (facility). We’ve checked that out with the WWE. They’re watched in there. They probably train, in some cases, even harder than some of the UFC fighters.”

article topics :

UFC 203, Jeremy Thomas