Anthony Pettis Praises Ex-WWE Superstar CM Punk, Says He's Still Training in MMA

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMarch 24, 2019

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 09:  CM Punk fights in the first round in his welterweight bout against Mike Jackson during the UFC 225: Whittaker v Romero 2 event at the United Center on June 9, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. Jackson won by unanimous decision. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis has said CM Punk is still in MMA training despite his two heavy losses in the sport and has praised his application during workouts.

The former WWE star has endured a tough time since starting his professional MMA career. He lost in the first round of his first fight against Mickey Gall in 2016 (rear-naked choke), and last summer Mike Jackson beat him via unanimous decision in his second UFC outing.

Even so, according to Pettis—who trains with Punk at the Roufusport gym—the former wrestler is still hard at work on his MMA skills, per TMZ.

"He is still training," Pettis said. "I don't know what his plan is. I know he's doing some movies and a couple other things, but I'm not sure if he plans on fighting again or what. But I know he's still training...that dude's a hard worker."

Following his previous defeat, UFC President Dana White cast doubt over whether Punk would ever compete in the promotion again.

"It probably should be a wrap," White said. "... I love the guy. He's the nicest guy in the world. We gave him two shots, and he had a lot of heart tonight in this [Jackson] fight. And I think he should call it a wrap."

While Punk showed heart in spades in his previous fight, there were times when his lack of technical ability was evident, with Jackson able to dominate him in numerous exchanges.

MMA podcaster Sean Sheehan said he doesn't think the 40-year-old should be involved in elite MMA:

Seán Sheehan @SeanSheehanBA

CM Punk is very tough. But he has no business in any MMA organisation anyone of us have heard of.

Per ESPN's Ariel Helwani, although Punk showcased some signs of improvement in his second outing, he took a lot of big hits toward the end of the three-round contest:

Ariel Helwani @arielhelwani

Punk v Jackson is over. Jackson will get the nod via decision momentarily. First round was an improvement for Punk but then 2nd and 3rd were very clearly Jackson’s. Punk took a lot of damage and was tired.

In November, Punk said he "would listen" if an offer came that would see him return to wrestling, per MMA Fighting's Marc Raimondiciting The Young Bucks as a group he would be open to working with.

Punk's most recent appearance in WWE was at the Royal Rumble in 2014. At the moment, he is working for Cage Fury Fighting Championships as a broadcaster and commentator.