CM Punk competed in the second UFC fight of his career on Saturday night, losing to Mike Jackson (1-1) via unanimous decision at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.
Twitter followers watching along at home were surprisingly divided over the fight. Some gave Punk credit for going the distance and having the guts to step back into the octagon, while others believed he had no right to be fighting on the UFC stage in the first place.
"Before people trash on Punk. The guy put his heart and soul in trying to transition into MMA. I give him a lot of respect," a fan wrote.
Total respect for the attempt by CM Punk, he wanted to try his hand at MMA and got a chance few others would. But this is not a fight that ever should have made a UFC card. #UFC225 pic.twitter.com/ygS8z7BuQP— Jason Solomon (@solomonster) June 10, 2018
"Total respect for the attempt by CM Punk, he wanted to try his hand at MMA and got a chance few others would. But this is not a fight that ever should have made a UFC card," wrote another.
I get it. “Respect” “at least he got in the cage” and blah blah. But CM Punk needs to go back to pro wrestling. There’s no good future here in #MMA.— #Dizz© in Indy (@TalkMMA) June 10, 2018
"I get it. 'Respect,' 'at least he got in the cage' and blah blah. But CM Punk needs to go back to pro wrestling. There's no good future here in #MMA," another tweeted.
He got soundly beat but he didn't give up. CM Punk you gave it your all. Sometimes that's all you can ask for. #UFC225— Luke Poulter (@HTMatBlog) June 10, 2018
"He got soundly beat but he didn't give up. CM Punk you gave it your all. Sometimes that's all you can ask for," one fan encouragingly wrote.
MMA is not for CM Punk. Or Mike Jackson for that matter.— Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com (@SeanRossSapp) June 10, 2018
"MMA is not for CM Punk. Or Mike Jackson for that matter," Fightful reporter Sean Ross Sapp wrote.
Punk entered the fight fresh off a court victory against Dr. Chris Amann, a doctor working for WWE who sued Punk and close friend Colt Cabana for defamation after what they said what he claimed were career-damaging comments during a 2014 podcast episode.
The former WWE Champion left professional wrestling in 2014 when he walked out on WWE. He later claimed in that infamous podcast episode in late 2014 that company officials and the medical team were not properly addressing Punk's ailments, including an MRSA infection on his lower back that was later diagnosed as potentially fatal.
He signed with the UFC in December 2014 to a multi-fight contract and joined the Roufusport MMA Academy in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for training. After a few setbacks, Punk finally made his debut in September 2016 at the UFC 203 event in Cleveland, Ohio. He ended up losing his debut fight to UFC rising star Mickey Gall via submission two minutes into the first round.
When asked on Wednesday after the trial was over if he'd ever return to the squared circle, Punk surprisingly left the door open.
"I could definitely tell you if you asked me that question a week ago when I still felt like I had a foot in the grave, the answer [would have been] no, I don't want anything to do with it," Punk said in an interview. "I feel like I'm out and the future is yet to be written, it's a wide open book, it's my story to tell. I'm just being real, I'm not going to sit here and be like, 'No! No!' Something might come up, some fun might be had."
On Thursday the "Straight-Edged Superstar" was singing a different tune, saying emphatically that he was finished with that business.
"Yesterday I said a bunch of stuff about wrestling, like how I'd never gotten a true offer, this does not mean I want to wrestle," Punk told TSN Sports. "I'm done, I'm done, I'm done with professional wrestling."0comments
But given the unpredictable world of professional wrestling, Punk could always change his mind.