Former WWE Superstar and now UFC fighter CM Punk recently spoke with Rolling Stone to discuss his time in WWE, the backstage politics his MMA training.
Punk has done a ton of interviews since announcing that he’d be joining the world’s largest MMA promotion, but this one was more on his reflection of his pro wrestling career while he transitions into MMA.
Going from the world of pro wrestling into MMA is a big transition, but Punk looks back at his future in order to look ahead of his next endeavor.
“For the longest time [in] what I did, the competition wasn’t that clean-cut,” he reflects on his WWE tenure. “It didn’t matter if you were the best. There’s slimy backstage politics, there’s always somebody trying to undercut you. To me, there’s something romantic about just you and another guy locked inside a cage and the better man wins. In that time and space, nothing else matters. I definitely think it can be fucking scary, but I like embracing the things that scare me.”
“I think at some point in my wrestling career, I took myself way too seriously, and I took the wrestling business way too seriously,” he reflects. “It probably helped sour me on the whole process. It probably helped burn me out.”
Punk would explain why he’s going into MMA and how it’s a positive thing.
“Part of me thinks doing it will hopefully get some eyes on the fighters I train with who deserve to be where I am already or signed by other organizations,” he says, having polished off his salad and requested a refill of ice water. “Duke [Roufus] and I have the same philosophy of a high tide raises all ships, so whatever good I can bring anybody’s way, I look at it as a positive. I know this is a piece on me, but where I train and who I train with is a big part of my life.”
Punk knows that time is ticking on his MMA career so he’s making the most of his time.
“I don’t waste time when I’m in here,” he says after a round of group jiu-jitsu drills. “I don’t play grab-ass and I don’t fuck around. Every day I’m walking out the door, I feel, ‘That’s a good workout and I gave it my all,’ but I also can’t wait to get back in there, because there’s so much more I need to work on.”