WWE star CM Punk finally has a date for his UFC debut.
The ex-WWE champion put pen to paper on a deal to step into the Octagon two years ago, but injury problems have kept him away from MMA until now.
Punk will debut at UFC 203 in Cleveland on September 10 against unbeaten welterweight Mickey Gall.
Speaking on the UFC Unfiltered podcast, Punk described his debut date as “light at the end of the tunnel” after lengthy rehab.
“You shouldn’t talk a bunch of shit if you haven’t stepped in there so I haven’t. I’ve just been rehabbing my back and doing all I can with my striking and my jiu-jitsu,” he said.
“I’m happy to have a date and there finally look like there is some light at the end of the tunnel.”
“The instant I got cleared I got on the phone with Dana and we nailed everything out so I will be debuting September 10 in Cleveland.
“I’m super excited for a myriad of reasons. I’m happy to have a date and there finally look like there is some light at the end of the tunnel. I can finally say that I’m fit, I’m healthy and I’m strong again.”
Punk added that he’s looking forward to the new challenge of MMA fighting having overcome a herniated disc.
“It’s a whole new world for me,” he said. “I feel fully healed and it’s just amazing to me that I can do things I probably been able to fully do for a couple of years now.”
Punk has no previous MMA experience, but he’s hoping martial arts training with fourth-degree black belt Rener Gracie – done during his WWE tenure – will stand him in good stead for the Gall showdown.
After quitting WWE, Punk had a surprising side career writing for Marvel Comics. He penned books on Thor and Drax the Destroyer, the Guardians of the Galaxy character played by ex-WWE colleague Dave Bautista.