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CM Punk: A Cautionary Tale

If there’s one principal to live by when it comes to combat sports it’s this: you need to be all in or not all. Phil “CM Punk” Brooks had his first and possibly last fight at UFC 203 this past weekend. Now, before you start thinking that this will be a roast of CM Punk, let me save you the time and tell you that you’re dead wrong. If anything CM Punk should be commended for putting everything on the line. In fact, he took MMA very seriously and was all in.

But sometimes it isn’t enough.

What Phil Brooks had to learn on Saturday night is usually something that individuals learn early on in their fighting careers on a local circuit, with few eyes on them. It’s in the small time shows that a person realizes if they have that absolute drive to compete at the highest levels of the sport. Unfortunately CM Punk took another route to the big show.

CM Punk chose to fight his first match in the UFC with millions of eyes on him. Granted, that takes a ton of heart and grit, but ultimately it proved that combat sports aren’t something you simply experiment with. When it comes to fighting it takes a certain dedication, more than simply saying “hey, I’ll give this a shot.” It takes a single-minded commitment nearing on obsession.

Dammit, it still sounds like I’m being harsh on CM Punk. But in reality, whether you love him, hate him, or feel anything in between, you do have to respect the man. Fighting in front of a crowd of individuals in a nerve racking experience. To do so in front of millions is something else entirely. CM Punk put himself on the line and that is something remarkable to behold. But where he may have failed, perhaps another UFC hopeful will examine the story of Phil Brooks and see exactly where he went wrong and right. Who knows, CM Punk’s inspirational turn as a short-lived mixed martial artist is exactly the kind of tale that will allow others to ask themselves the tough question. Just how bad do you want it and what are you willing to go through to get it?

What do you think of CM Punk’s MMA saga?


Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. Check out his Twitter and Facebook to keep up with his antics.

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