MANILA, Philippines – Former World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) superstar CM Punk has opted to train under the tutelage of renowned kickboxer Duke Roufus at Roufusport in Milwaukie, Wisconsin for his targeted Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut this year.
Roufusport is a home to a number of top mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters, including UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis and ONE Fight Championship welterweight titleholder Ben Askren.
Roufus, one of the most recognizable striking coaches in North America and considered to be one of the top trainers of Muay Thai outside of Thailand, is optimistic that his new student will carve a niche inside the UFC cage.
“I didn't get involved with this because I didn't think he could do it. I think he can. That is the thing,” he said in an interview with MMAMania.com.
CM Punk had the first day of his training camp on Tuesday, January 6 (PH Time) and was seen working alongside Pettis and Askren.
Aside from Roufus, numerous high-profile stalwarts personally reached out to CM Punk, including Daniel Cormier, Tyron Woodley and UFC welterweight kingpin Robbie Lawler.
CM Punk, whose real name is Phil Brooks, recently inked an exclusive multi-fight contract with the world’s premier MMA organization after his surprising departure from WWE in January 2014.
The 36-year-old Chicago native, who practiced Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with Rener Gracie in the past, will be paired against someone with equal footing in the sport for his UFC debut since he has no prizefighting experience under his belt.
However, the ex-WWE performer has not yet announced the weight class in which he will compete, and a date for his first Octagon appearance remains unknown. – Rappler.com