Now that CM Punk has experienced his first professional MMA fight, his coach Duke Roufus is now more confident for the next fight.
CM Punk’s professional MMA debut at UFC 203 last year was not a memorable one for him. After being submitted by Mickey Gall inside three minutes, the former WWE superstar was not expected to be seen back inside the Octagon.
But just two weeks ago, Punk’s coach Duke Roufus revealed that they are back in training camp, getting ready for the next fight. No date has been specified, but in a recent appearance on UFC Unfiltered, Roufus believes Punk had learned a lot from the previous fight.
“(UFC President Dana White) and the matchmakers had their weekly matchmaking meeting yesterday, and we’ll get some news soon,” Roufus said (transcript via MMA Junkie). “I just think the first time you step in the octagon, there’s something special you’ve got to deal with getting in there. For Punk, this sounds really weird, but now he knows what a beating feels like – a real beating.”
Punk did seem like a fish out of water in his first fight, as Gall outclassed him and finished him off with a rear-naked choke. Roufus believes the experience of such a beating was actually a motivating factor for Punk.
“I think (a loss like Punk’s at UFC 203) will help a lot of fighters to the point of haunting them, like, ‘No, I don’t want to feel this way ever again.’ It’s not the physical. These guys are tough. It’s the mental anguish,” Roufus said.
“You don’t want to feel that depressing, embarrassing feeling of getting beat up in front of God and everyone. It’s no fun. It’s been great motivation for him.”