CM Punk doesn’t have much experience inside the octagon but he’s managed to win over at least one new fan.
Ben Askren is one of the best you MMA fighters in the world, an exceptional wrestler and training partner of CM Punk. He was one of many fighters to publicly bash the UFC for going for a money grab with the Punk signing but now that he’s seen Punk first hand he’s changed his tune.
“I was just talking sh*t on Twitter,” Askren said. “It’s what I do. He’s been outstanding in the gym. He’s been in there every day. It’s not like he came in here and said, ‘I’m a superstar, I’m going to get preferential treatment.’ He just acts like one of the guys, just working out. It’s outstanding.”
He went on to discuss his first convo with Punk,
“He came in the gym and said, ‘There’s no issue here, is there?'” Askren said. “I said, ‘Of course, there’s not.'”
and further discuss the respect he’s developed for Punk.
“Some people who come from high levels in other backgrounds where they’re used to being the best or used to being on a kind of pedestal, it’s hard to kind of lower yourself again and just be one of the grunts,” Askren said. “I kind of enjoyed that challenge in MMA. When I walked into any wrestling room, I was like the guy and then when I switched to MMA, then I’m just another guy and I don’t have a lot of skills. He’s probably even more so than me, because he was huge in WWE.”
It’ll be interesting to see Punk finally step into the cage. He has some of the best training partners in the world so if he can hang with Askren and Pettis he should fair perfectly fine in his UFC debut.