Former WWE wrestler CM Punk initially said he would make his much-ballyhooed UFC debut at middleweight later this year, but it appears those plans may have changed.

The word on the street according to (via the Wrestling Observer) is that Punk has been training so much with his teammates at Milwaukee’s Roufusport that his Octagon debut could in fact come at welterweight.

Punk recently took part in his first ‘fight scrimmage’ against 4-0 welterweight teammate Craig Eckelberg. While his head coach Duke Roufus said that he would not have won had judges been scoring the match, he did note that there were many encouraging signs to build on.

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He’s reportedly lost a decent amount of weight training in the trenches with notable Roufusport names like Anthony Pettis, Tyron Woodley, and Ben Askren.

The current plan is for Punk, whose real name is Phillip Brooks, to meet with the UFC concerning his debut this July. From there, the promotion will determine just where his skills are and what kind of an opponent he should be matched up with in his debut.

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Most believe that Punk will get destroyed by the world-class fighters in the UFC, and they could definitely match him against another inexperienced opponent so his gimmick isn’t spoiled before it ever gets off the ground.

But Roufus won’t let him climb into the cage unprepared, noting that Brooks would not set foot in the Octagon until he was “pay-per-view worthy.”

In terms of the caliber of fighters currently found in the UFC, that could take quite some time. Will Punk ever get there?

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Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports