CM Punk has been training at RoufusSport for almost 4 months now and trainer Duke Roufus says that Punk is improving but he’s not sure if he’ll ever be a top notch competitor.
“I don’t know if he’s going to be a champion or a contender, but a lot of guys in the UFC aren’t champions or contenders — but they’re popular,” he said. “They bring fans. They’ve been in the organization for years. Guys like Clay Guida. Guys like Gleison Tibau, they’ve been in the organization — Cole Miller. They’ve been there a while. Everybody wants to be the champion, but that’s the cool thing about the UFC, it’s so hard to be the champion. That’s what makes it special. If you do contribute to the organization, you’re always going to have a job and fight for the UFC. Even a guy likeDonald Cerrone who is closest to the belt I think he’s ever been, but we’ve always loved Donald Cerrone because that’s Donald Cerrone. You know you’re going to have a show when Cerrone shows up.”
Roufus knows that Punk was hired to sell tickets but he still believes that he can turn that into a quality career:
“Part of fighting is marquee value,” he said. “Unfortunately, other sports are about being the best. The neat thing about fighting, it’s about how many butts can you put in the seats and marquee value. That being said, I will not let Punk go out and make a mockery of himself or our sport. I love this sport. He’s putting serious work in, he’s putting serious training in, and what I love about him is the attitude. He’s so hungry, and you know what, he doesn’t expect to be treated like a prima donna. He’s running towards the fire instead of running away from it.”
I don’t think any of us thought Punk would be a top tier guy in the UFC but if he wins 3/4 fights it’d be a huge success for both Punk and the UFC. It’d more than justify his signing.