Ex-WWE superstar-turned-UFC upstart, CM Punk will be debuting at UFC 203 in Cleveland Saturday, but it’s not without controversy.
Aside from 37-year-old Punk breezing past thousands of way more qualified (but less famous) “real” fighters, Punk may actually be breaking laws of the Ohio Athletic Commission by participating in a professional fight with zero experience.
Combat sports attorney Erik Magraken explains in further detail:
[CM Punk] cannot be faulted for pursuing his dream. It is also difficult to fault a promoter for putting on a controversial fight as controversy sells and promoters are in the money making business. Regulators, on the other hand, play a role when it comes to scrutinizing controversial bouts and here the CM Punk saga takes an interesting legal twist. …The requirements for a professional combative sports license vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and Ohio has specific requirements in place for those wishing to turn pro. …CM Punk does not meet this standard, meaning the Commission has exercised a waiver of this safety standard in order to allow him to make his UFC Debut.
FYI you need 5 ammy MMA fights (with a winning record) for a pro licence in Ohio. CM Punk has 0 https://t.co/02A8lRE7Hz
— Erik Magraken (@erikmagraken) September 6, 2016
The commission actually requires fighters to have five amateur fights before they can turn pro, however chances are with his age, and brief window to potentially make the UFC a ton of money; a waiver was issued.
By comparison; Punk’s UFC 203 opponent, Mickey Gall, has a pro record of 2-0 and an amateur record of 2-0.
Just goes to show you that everything has a price, even bylaws written in the name of athlete safety.