Bellator has already expressed at least preliminary interest in him. He would be free and clear of any WWE contractual obligations in July....
I get the impression a part of him would like to do it the same way Batista did it as a bucket list thing. With Batista, it seemed on the surface to be a real bad risk, but in the end, he did it and wasn't hurt at all. With Punk, on the surface, it would seem the same thing. A theoretical big risk....
Most MMA fans would scoff at the idea of the former WWE champion fighting in the cage, but Rener Gracie, Punk's Brazilian jiu-jitsu trainer, told Fox Sports that his student has unlimited potential should he choose to go that route.
But who would Punk's opponent be if he participated in a pro MMA bout?
Jason David Frank, best known as the Green Ranger from the 1990s hit show Power Rangers, took to Instagram to post a call-out of sorts, saying he would be interested in throwing down with the self-proclaimed "best in the world."
So now that CM punk is out of his contracts and wants to do MMA. Why not me? He already said he fight me. I got this on video from a fan. Come on CM punk we could make this a awesome fight. Plus his weight is way down. ... I'll make any weight to make this happen!!
The video Frank is referring to was posted on Youtube back in December 2012 (h/t SB Nation). When asked about a potential matchup with the Green Ranger, Punk's response was: "Sure, why not?"
Frank sports a 1-0 professional record and a 3-0 amateur record in MMA, but he hasn't fought since 2010, according to Sherdog.
Punk, 35, has trained with the Gracies throughout his career, but he's also well beyond the age when most fighters start their MMA careers and has over a decade of wear and tear on his body. As any pro wrestler can attest, their profession is very physically taxing despite the fact that its matches are staged.
If Bellator puts this fight together, it would likely be the biggest matchup the promotion could muster outside of a third bout between lightweights Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler. Particularly after Bellator's first pay-per-view attempt fell apart following an injury to former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz, a big-name bout between Punk and Frank would be a smart move to grow its brand.
There's no doubt Punk would enjoy the crossover appeal that former UFC heavyweight champion and WWE champion Brock Lesnar did, albeit with a smaller fan base. On the other hand, Punk would severely damage his reputation if he were to be defeated, particularly against a former teenage TV star.
The fight probably won't come together due to contractual issues, commissions and other out-of-the-cage hangups, but Bellator's interest shows that Punk has the option of joining a number of MMA promotions outside of the UFC.
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