On the latest episode of Renee Paquette’s Oral Sessions podcast former WWE champion CM Punk discussed his hot run with the company at the tail end of 2011, and revealed that he was planning on leaving the company around that time to fully commit to training for MMA. The Chicago Savior later adds why things didn’t turn out that way, and how he played the MMA game backwards.
I always wanted to do it and being on the road for how long WWE people are on the road for, I could never train consistently. I had planned on leaving when my deal was up at the end of 2010 or 2011. If I was going to train, it was never going to be just a hobby for me. So, I was going to leave, I needed time off anyway, and I would devote full-time to training. I wasn’t a big enough name to where I thought everyone would be like, ‘it’s a spectacle and everyone wants to watch you fight.’ So, I was going to do it ‘the right way’ (where I would) train and do amateur fights. The way I did everything was 100% backward. It’s easy for someone to say, ‘this bum went right to UFC, he didn’t deserve it,’ but they often don’t understand the business, let alone the fight business. People say, ‘Oh, I’ll get beat up for $1 million.’ My retort to that is ‘do the work I did to get to the point where someone would offer you that money to see you fight.’ 73 Twitter followers doesn’t equate to a million-dollar payday. I got hot at the end of my WWE run and was faced with an opportunity; re-sign for three more years even though I was already shot and mentally and physically exhausted. I obviously re-signed and had to wait another three years. The idea was to do it before I got too old. Turns out, I was too old.