CM Punk indicated he has signed an eight-fight UFC deal and has prepared his detractors to be "disappointed" when he wins his debut clash later this year.
The former WWE star is adamant his time in the UFC will not be fleeting and that he will see out his initial deal at the very least.
I can’t honestly answer how many [fights] I’m gonna have - we’ll wait and see how the first one goes. But there’s gonna be eight, at least.
I expect people to be disappointed [after my debut].
I expect all those people that think I’m gonna get knocked out in 10 seconds to be disappointed. I expect people to bet against me and lose their money.
I expect people to get divorced because they’re upset that their wife wanted me to win and they wanted me to lose, you know?
But the people who have stood by me and supported me know it’s business as usual. They know what kind of person I am and they know how I am at the gym.
And once that cage door shuts it’s between one minute and 15 minutes before the fight ends and my hand gets raised.
It has been a long time coming—Punk signed with the UFC in December 2014. The date of his first fight is still not set in stone, but UFC President Dana White gave a major hint recently, per 98.5 The Sports Hub's The Toucher and Rich Show:
It seems Punk is set to debut at June's UFC 199 rather than the more high-profile UFC 200 one month later.
White also revealed the likely opponent as the relatively unknown Mickey Gall, per TSN's Off the Record (via Shaun Al-Shatti of MMAFighting.com): "I'm bringing Mickey Gall in, and he's going to fight a kid named Michael Jackson. They're going to fight on the prelims, on February 6 on Fight Pass, and if he wins that fight, Mickey Gall will fight CM Punk. And CM Punk will be there at the fight to watch."
White later confirmed Jackson would not earn the Punk fight if he ended up beating Gall:
Gall, 23, has seemingly been well-rewarded for calling out the former wrestler after winning his professional debut, which was being filmed for UFC Fight Pass' Lookin' for a Fight show—see below from 9:55, with the call-out at 11:20:
When it finally comes around, a likely clash with Gall should be a fascinating fight for Punk.
Given Punk's history is in wrestling, there is little way to know how good he will be or where his strengths will lie when he steps into the Octagon.
Punk is expecting his doubters to get a "rude awakening" when he finally does fight, per Head.
Either way, whether he is good or bad, his debut is sure to be a must-watch event.