UFC President Dana White continues to defend CM Punk.
As seen in the opening bout of the main card for the UFC 225 pay-per-view event at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois, fellow welterweight Mike Jackson was able to beat Punk, real name Phil Brooks, by unanimous decision.
He lost in his MMA debut against Mickey Gall at UFC 203 in September of 2016 by first round submission. Despite not having a ton of experience, White gave the former WWE champion another shot at fighting inside of the Octagon. Now after two straight losses, Punk is not likely to fight again under the UFC banner.
However, that has not stopped White from praising Punk for his performance even though it was lackluster.
During a recent appearance on the MMA Roasted podcast, the UFC boss defended Punk from those who have voiced their criticism including the most notable one being UFC analyst Joe Rogan.
“A lot of people talk sh-t about CM, well, get in there. Come on over,” White said (transcript via MMANYTT). “Have a fight and fight one of these guys.”
“It’s easy to sit in your living room and talk sh-t. This guy was a huge star in WWE and he came over here and put it all on the line twice, man, in front of the whole world.
“If people can’t respect that, then they’re a f—king idiot. You can’t tell somebody ‘don’t do the thing that you want to do the most,’” White said. “CM Punk wanted to be a UFC fighter and he wanted to come here. He wanted it so bad that he dropped everything and focused on nothing but mixed martial arts.”
“If you talk to his team, next time you talk to Duke Roufus or Anthony Pettis, or any of those guys and talk about how this guy was driving back and forth from Chicago (to Milwaukee), how he would drive for hours and then train forever, you know. They all ended up respecting him.”
Finally, when asked if he was willing to give Punk a third shot in the promotion, White shut it down by stating, “No. I don’t think he really wants a third chance.”