As expected, former WWE star CM Punk was beaten up by MIckey Gall at UFC 203 Saturday night, but at least he gave a pretty stirring speech afterwards.
Gall took Punk down immediately after the start of the fight and rained down some heavy shots before finally ending the 37-year-old's MMA debut at 2:14 of the first round courtesy of a rear-naked choke.
After the brutal beatdown, Punk gave a humbled speech in which he praised Gall, declared that "In life you go big or you go home" and left the door open to a UFC return. Watch it here:
“In life, you go big or you go home. I just like to take challenges. This was a hell of a mountain to try to climb and I didn’t get to the summit today, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to give up, that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop. I appreciate the support from everyone. Mickey’s a hell of a fighter. I will be back, believe it or not, the second-best night of my life besides marrying my wife.
I know there’s a lot of doubters but, listen — life’s about falling down and getting up. It’s doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down, it’s about getting back up. So if there’s a kid out there that’s told by a parent, or a coach or a teacher, someone that they look up to, someone they’re trying to push them and believe in them and they’re told “no” don’t listen to them. Believe in yourself. Sometimes, the outcome isn’t what you desire it to be. But the true failure in life is not trying at all. I know that sounds preachy and weird for a guy that just got beat up, but f*ck it — this was the time of my life! Thank you, Cleveland!”
Punk left in the WWE in January 2014 after the Royal Rumble, and announced in December of that year that he had signed a multi-fight UFC deal. His MMA training was detailed in the The Evolution of Punk mini-series on Fox Sports 1.
But if Punk returns to the cage after his lopsided loss, it may be at a lower level than the bright lights of the UFC.
John Pollock of the Fight Network tweeted the following after speaking with UFC president Dana White on Saturday night:
Forbes also weighed in on Punk's MMA future, should he want to return to the cage:
The former WWE Superstar was asked during the post-fight press conference if it was wise for him to have his first fight in the UFC as opposed to honing his skills at the developmental level. Punk claimed that he’d “be a fool” not to jump at the opportunity presented to him to compete in the UFC, but did go on to admit that his initial plans were to begin fighting as an amateur....Small-pond promotions would be giddy over signing a big fish like CM Punk. And unlike UFC—which hedged its bets by selecting an inexperienced potential superstar in Mickey Gall—they would do everything in their power to ensure a CM Punk victory, making the combat sports lightning rod more of a meal ticket than a tomato can.