How close was C.M. Punk to getting denied a license for his upcoming Octagon debut against Mickey Gall this weekend (Sat., Sept. 10, 2016) at UFC 203 in Cleveland, Ohio, for not having the minimum five required amateur fights under his belt? Not that close, actually, as the Ohio Athletic Commission (OAC) recently revealed that Punk’s extensive professional wrestling background with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) allowed the athletic governing body to overlook his lack of mixed martial arts (MMA) experience.
As far as Punk is concerned, he had no knowledge of any licensing issues.
"I don’t know anything about that," he said during a recent media scrum via MMA Junkie. "I also don’t really care. To me, it’s out of my hands. I don’t know why people care, like if you’re not me -- and you’re not the guy fighting me -- why the hell are you so invested? Are we tarnishing the sport where people try to break each others' faces?"
One brave reporter brought it to Punk’s attention that perhaps those "hacks" were interested in his well-being. It's a sentiment the former professional wrestler wasn’t buying.
"No, they’re not," he said. "They’re hack journalists who fucking want to stir up a bunch of shit for no reason because they don’t get invited to this."
This, even though OAC Executive Director, Bernie Profato, also explained that another reason Punk was licensed was because the match made sense, skill-wise, as Gall has just one UFC fight under his belt (four overall). Nevertheless, Punk isn’t trying to hear all that extra noise because he has enough on his plate ahead of his much-anticipated Octagon debut.
It probably won’t be the last time Punk has an issue with "hack journalists" in MMA, though.
For a closer look at UFC 203 click here.