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Cathal Pendred thinks he is frontrunner to fight 'lottery ticket' CM Punk first, blasts former WWE champ's 'boxercise' striking

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Cathal Pendred recently drew the ire of former World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) star-turned mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter, CM Punk, after he posted a video of the former wrestler hitting pads.

Needless to say, the clip wasn't meant to be complimentary, reading with a caption that read: CM Punk on the pads making me look like Muhammad Ali.

But, according to the Irishman, he wasn't trying to just call out Punk, he was also sort of insulting his own "atrocious" striking. Nevertheless, now that he has Punk's attention, Pendred believes he's the front runner to land a big money fight against the man also known as Phil Brooks.

His words (via MMA Fighting):

"The day that he got signed by the UFC I said the Chick Magnet fight was a lottery ticket. He is the lottery ticket. I think every fighter should want that fight that's in the UFC. There's a lot of money to be made, and I'm one of the guys that's on his division, so I definitely wouldn't turn it down. I actually think that I'm in the pole position for it now because, nearly every guy in middleweight and welterweight has called the guy out, and he hasn't responded to any of them.I was having a great time with it to be honest, I thought it was brilliant. That just makes me think that maybe this guy is delusional, as some of the fans that he has, and actually thinks that he could beat me in a fight."

In Pendred's view, he feels Punk is responding to him -- and only him -- because he actually believes he has a shot at defeating him.

"I genuinely feel like he's responding to me just because he feels that he might have a shot, or else he feels like he could maybe at least not die in there with me. I've seen in a lot of his interviews since he joined [the UFC], he looks more scared now than he did -- I think he looks more unsure of himself now than he did when he first decided to do this. I think he's in the gym now and he's having a hard time and he's realized, I bit off more than I can chew now. I reckon he thinks Pendred is the way to go, and if that's the way he wants to go, there's a couple of hundred thousand reasons I think it will be the way to go, too."

And before signing off, Pendred took one last dig at Punk's striking.

"My striking has looked atrocious in the UFC so far, and that's the type of guy I am. I have no problem ripping it out of myself. But [CM Punk's footage] made me look good. I've seen boxercise classes where people were hitting the pads better than that."

Pendred seems to have gotten under Punk's skin, but that alone might not be enough to convince UFC matchmakers to let him welcome him to the Octagon. He is not the wrong side of 35 ... and he doesn't have a single professional fight of any sort to his credit.

Either way, time will tell.

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