CM Punk talked to The MMA Hour yesterday about his UFC progress, including his recent back injury and recovery.
Punk talks about how it affected his debut fight against Mickey Gall, how well Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta handled it, and much more. You can read some excerpts (transcriptions courtesy of MMAFighting.com‘s Shaun Al-Shatti) as well as listen to the conversation with host Ariel Helwani in the player below:
Punk comments on the timing of his back injury:
“Thankfully, the silver lining is that we didn’t actually have a date. I felt like sh*t about it. I wanted to tell everybody, but it was also a case of let’s just see where this goes and see what happens. I got the MRI Friday night and I was literally diagnosed Saturday, right before I walked out to watch Mickey and Michael Jackson fight.”
Punk talks how UFC handled everything:
“(They handled it) wonderfully, in my opinion. I was in with Dana and Lorenzo, and we were talking, and Dr. Sanders just came up and he goes, ‘alright, here it is.’ He laid it all on the table for us. Of course, Dana lets out this big sigh, and he’s like, ‘ugh, we can’t get a break.’ So immediately I go into, ‘well, maybe there’s a shot I can get? Maybe I can do cortisone? Whatever.’ And Lorenzo and Dana stop me, and they went, ‘no, no, no, it is what it is. We just want you to get fixed and get healthy. We have shows every month, don’t worry about it.’
It’s just, the timing sucked. I’m literally about to walk out and do this thing (at UFC Fight Night 82). And they were great. It’s hard not to compare and contrast to where I used to work before. It was just a relief to finally have a boss who was like, ‘no, no, just get fixed, we want you 100-percent, we want you to be healthy,’ not interested in throwing a band-aid on a bullet wound just to parade me out in front of people. So it was a relief, and it felt nice.”
Does Punk have a fight date in mind?
“I don’t know. Part of me, I’ve learned from my past mistakes and I’m not going to say a date that everyone’s going to get married to, and then I’m going to have to hear about how I’m never going to fight. I’m going to fight. It’s going to be this year. And like I said, I see the [doctor] tomorrow, and I’m going to talk with him about all kinds of other extracurricular things I can do to probably speed this along. See if I can start doing acupuncture again, things like that. In my mind, that card at [Madison Square] Garden (in November) would be a nice second fight, but I don’t know how realistic that is, because again, I don’t want to say things that people are going to be taking to heart.
I have optimistic goals. I’ve always had optimistic goals and we’re just going to see if my back can cooperate with that.”