CM Punk's transition from WWE to the UFC has garnered a mix of reactions from fans and pundits. For the most part, though, there is one thing folks agree on: His skills are just not up to scratch with his colleagues in high-level MMA.
Longtime UFC commentator Joe Rogan minced no words when discussing that on Monday's installment of his MMA podcast, the JRE MMA Show (warning: NSFW language), and gave a frank assessment of the former Straight Edge Savior.
"It shouldn't even be on the 'Tuesday Night Contender' show. It should be in some amateur event somewhere," Rogan said of Punk's next fight (h/t MMA NYTT). "That's really what they are. They're guys learning how to compete. They're in the first fight on the pay-per-view. That's f--king crazy."
Punk set the combat sports world ablaze in 2014 when he surfaced after a lengthy absence from the WWE ring to announce he had officially signed a multi-fight contract with the UFC.
The move was generally met with skepticism and derision, as Punk lacked the combat sports credentials of other crossover competitors such as Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley and had no legitimate martial arts experience to that point.
In 2016, nearly two full years after the initial announcement that he would compete, Punk faced Mickey Gall in his MMA debut at UFC 203. There, he was effortlessly taken down, ground-and-pounded and submitted in the first round.
UFC President Dana White initially teased Punk was one-and-done in the UFC, but his tune changed over time and in April, it was announced that the former WWE star would return at UFC 225 in Chicago to face Mike Jackson (0-1).
Though the story of Punk's MMA career has changed to one of seeking redemption, questions still loom large over whether the 39-year-old has the pure skills or athleticism necessary to justify competing on the grandest stage in the sport.
He will have the chance to answer them on June 9 in front of a hometown crowd.