clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Fertitta: CM Punk first UFC opponent 'certainly someone media will know and recognize'

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) CEO Lorenzo Fertitta is no dummy.

He expected a certain amount of "backlash" from the promotion's surprise acquisition of former professional wrestler Phil Brooks, who is expected to make his Octagon debut later this year. But as far as choosing a first opponent, rest assured Fertitta won't recruit "some guy off the street."

Probably because he already did that when he signed CM Punk.


Fertitta elaborates to ESPN:

"I think it has to be somebody with some level of credentials. It's not just going to be some guy off the street. It's going to be somebody who is a professional mixed martial artist -- certainly somebody who MMA media will recognize and know... But I guarantee you it will be a competitive guy... We're going to find out what he can bring to the table. We're confident he has the skills to fight. We don't know exactly what level yet. Sometimes, you've got to invest in what we call 'fighter development.' We've done it before and guys have developed into very competitive fighters, and we've done it where guys have not."

Back in my day, we used to call that "The Ultimate Fighter."

To his credit, Brooks has approached his new endeavor with a no-nonsense attitude and is making significant strides in his commitment to mixed martial arts (MMA). That includes a trip to the Roufusport camp in Milwaukee, Wisc., where "Punk" trains alongside UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, among others.

For more speculation on his first opponent -- from somebody in the know -- click here.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania