CM Punk has been out of WWE for over four years now, but his name still stirs up a reaction among fans and performers alike.
During an interview this week with Express Sports, Roman Reigns was asked about Punk. Specifically whether or not he would be watching Punk's next fight with UFC.
"If it goes longer than 30 seconds. I better prepare my food and drinks early because you never know," Reigns said.
This was obviously a reference to Punk's sole UFC fight thus far, a quick loss to Mickey Gall back in September 2016 at UFC 203. Punk will try to save face with a fight against Mike Jackson at UFC 225 on June 9. The event takes place at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois which also happens to be Punk's hometown, so it would be the perfect location to turn around his UFC fortunes.
Interesting enough, Jackson was originally one of the names for Punk to face when he made his MMA debut two years ago. Gall and Jackson fought in February 2016 with the winner earning the opportunity to face Punk later in the year. With a loss to Gall two years ago already on record, Punk will now face the other member of that fight and complete the cycle.
Punk and Jackson have a lot in common as both men have lost to Mickey Gall, and to date, each fighter's bout with Gall has been their only professional MMA fight. So UFC 225 will be an opportunity for both of them to even their record at 1-1 and have a future ahead of them with UFC.
If Punk is unsuccessful in this fight, especially in the same fashion as his prior fight, it's difficult to imagine another MMA fight on the big stage with UFC, though he could continue fighting in another promotion. This is a big chance for Punk to show he belongs in MMA.
Fans (and wrestlers) still clamor for Punk to make a return to professional wrestling, and though he has kept his distance since his exit from WWE in 2014, he has been confirmed to make an autograph appearance at Pro Wrestling Tees in Chicago during the weekend of the big All In event being promoted by Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks. This has of course started the rumor mill on Punk possibly making an appearance at the wrestling show itself.
Depending on how his fight goes next month, we'll probably have a much better idea then whether or not Punk will be looking to try his hand in professional wrestling once again this fall or if it will just be a one-off autograph appearance.