Saturday, September 10, 2016

In praise of CM Punk

If you don't follow MMA, this entry is probably not for you.

Earlier tonight, CM Punk (the wrestling name of Phil Brooks), a former WWE wrestling superstar, made his UFC debut.  After a long career with WWE, he decided to give real combat sports a shot, signed with the UFC, and started training.  He trained for about a year and a half, part of which time he was injured, and then the UFC booked him a fight with another UFC newcomer.  The newcomer, Mickey Gall, was younger, had won two pro MMA fights, and was a BJJ brown belt.  The MMA world was abuzz with discussion about Punk, and he almost certainly helped the UFC sell a lot of live tickets and PPV buys.

The fight itself proved to be a bit of a sad affair.  Gall took down Punk early in the first round, dominated him, and eventually punched him long enough and hard enough for the ref to stop the fight and Gall to get the TKO.  Punk was never in the fight.

In the octagon post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, Punk looked horrible.  His right ear appeared to be on the edge of exploding, and he was clearly badly beaten.  Yet he gave a great interview, praised his opponent, and said how much he had enjoyed getting to fight.

I ended up respecting Punk for trying to achieve what at least appears to be a real dream and for being a class act in defeat.  I don't expect him ever to be a strong MMA fighter, because he's already 37, but I am glad he gave it a go.

We could all do worse than to try to achieve unlikely goals and be gracious if we do not reach them.


David Drake said...

Dear Mark,

This is a comment about the human condition, not simply about fighting. (Or writing, for that matter.)

I'm not sure I agree with you, though. I guess it's harmless (except to the person doing it, who's getting hammered either literally or verbally) so long as his reality testing stays on.

But often, maybe usually, the wannabe convinces himself that he's made it. I saw that in spades at Conestoga where a large number of self-published (or published by their friend/lover) wannabes were convinced they'd really made it. I found that awkward to be around.

Dunno, dunno. You've raised an interesting question, though.


Mark said...

You raise a fair point. In this case, though, CM Punk knew he had not made it. He specifically said that he had tried to climb a mountain and that on this night he had failed. I respected that honest assessment.


Blog Archive