After a brief career in MMA, CM Punk has notified the UFC that he has retired from the sport as he gets ready to make a full-focus return to professional wrestling with All Elite Wrestling.

Punk, whose real name is Phil Brooks, has been relatively quiet since his last UFC appearance against Mike Jackson at UFC 225. He lost to Jackson but the fight was switched to a no-contest following the bout. In his UFC debut, Punk lost to Mickey Gall in dominant fashion, getting submitted just minutes into the first round at UFC 203.

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Punk broke the internet when he made a surprise appearance at an AEW event, shocking the crowd which gave him a roar of approval as it was announced that he will be returning to professional wrestling, where he had excelled for many years before giving MMA a shot.

Punk’s transition from wrestling to MMA brought its fair share of critics, with many believing he didn’t deserve a shot with the top promotion in MMA due to his inexperience. Many believed it was unfair to give an MMA novice a primetime opportunity over many who have competed in the sport for many years.

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The 42-year-old was a massive fan of the UFC who was awarded a chance by UFC president Dana White leading up to UFC 203, before going winless in his tenure with the promotion. He trained under famous head coach Duke Roufus alongside some of the best minds in the sport; including Anthony Pettis and former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.

Punk served as a commentator for Cage Fury during his time away from combat sports, and it potentially could’ve been an avenue to another run in MMA. But Punk appears content to transition back to wrestling and leave his passions for MMA on the side.

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What is your reaction to CM Punk’s retirement from MMA?

Curtis Calhoun is a Combat Sports Contributor based in Seattle, Washington. After a longtime dream of becoming a sports journalist, he was able to accomplish his goals upon graduating from Washington State University in 2016.