UFC Lightweight champion Anthony Pettis has all of the confidence in the world in new gym trainee Phil “CM Punk” Brooks.
“He hasn’t trained with the team yet,” Pettis told MMAjunkie. “He’s doing private lessons with Duke and my jiu-jitsu coach. We don’t want to scare him away. But I’m not discrediting him because he’s definitely a great athlete. It’s just when it comes to MMA you’ve got to put it all together. His striking is going to need some improvement. His jiu-jitsu is getting improvement. He’s going to get improvement everywhere with the team, but we just want to take it slow, and he agrees.”
Despite the gym treating Punk with kid gloves Pettis says he sees that Brooks will be great when he is ready to debut because he’s a sponge in the gym.
“That’s the cool thing about him,” Pettis said. “He said, ‘I’m not coming in with any ego. I want you to tell me when I’m ready. And when you guys think I’m ready, that’s when I’m ready.’ That shows me that he’s going to do great in the sport.
“Knowing the following he has, he’s very modest. He is a very cool guy. He’s down to earth, and he didn’t come in with an ego at all into the gym. I think we have a great relationship right away. He’s asking questions and advice on training. He wants to do it, so that’s great. The first step is wanting to do it, and now he’s putting it all together.”
It’ll be interesting to see if Pettis is just as confidence when Punk begins to go one on one with other members of the gym.