WWE star CM Punk reflects on brutal UFC run: ‘What was I thinking?’

CM Punk has reflected on his difficult UFC run, admitting he later asked his wife: “What the f*** was I thinking?”

WWE star Punk (real name Phil Brooks) fought twice in the UFC, losing to Mickey Gall in 2016 and Mike Jackson in 2018, though the latter defeat was changed to a No Contest.

Gall submitted Punk in round one of their bout, and Jackson outpointed the Chicago native but saw his win overturned after testing positive for marijuana.

Speaking on The MMA Hour on Monday (1 April), ahead of WrestleMania 40 this weekend, 45-year-old Punk said: “I asked my wife the other day, because I said something... I was just like, ‘What was I, 35 when I fought?’ And she was just like, ‘Oh, no, you were 36 or 37.’ I just went, ‘What the f*** was I thinking?’

“I’m glad I did it. Zero regrets, [except] I shouldn’t have fought in Chicago, because of the worst two weeks of my life – easily the worst two weeks of my life. I couldn’t cut weight properly.

“I still made weight, I’m proud of myself for that. I’m an ambitious guy [...] I get it, it’s easy to ‘LOL’ and make fun of me. Some people will look at that and be like: ‘That’s embarrassing.’

“I f***ing made the weight, I made the walk, I am 100 per cent proud of myself. And I would do it again, because that was me at my absolute worst, and I did it. You want to call me a loser, that’s cool, but I was stoked I got that opportunity, and I was stoked I did it.”

Punk’s UFC run took place after his retirement from professional wrestling in 2014, when he left the WWE.

He returned to pro wrestling with AEW in 2021 and rejoined WWE in November 2023, before suffering an injury in January. That injury denied Punk the chance to compete at WrestleMania 40, but he will provide guest commentary when Seth Rollins defends the world heavyweight title against Drew McIntyre.

That match is scheduled for night two of WrestleMania 40, which runs 6-7 April at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.