CM Punk's UFC Debut: Go To Sleep • Latino Sports


CM Punk’s UFC Debut: Go To Sleep


Photo Credit: UFC

Photo Credit: UFC

by Anthony Merced

Here’s what we learned last night after 2:14 seconds of watching Phil Brooks aka CM Punk UFC debut.

His opponent Mickey Gall (2-0), completely dominated the fight and was unmerciless as he allowed no offense. In many ways it was perfect performance against a less than optimal opponent. The 24-year-old Gall has had years of martial arts training.

Following the fight a flood of social media chatter emerged all with the same underlying message of: “respect for trying.” As if CM Punk’s monumental failure is some sort of inspiration. This is where my blood began to boil.

Let’s be clear: Phil Brooks got his opportunity in the UFC due to his privilege and nothing else. The former WWE World Champion was a massive name in the world of sports-entertainment but was never a martial artist, amateur wrestler or had any kind of fighting experience in a real life setting.

Still, he was able to bypass years of hard work and blood spilt in small gyms across the amateur MMA landscape simply because of his name. And now people are expecting that he should showered with praise?

Surrounding the abomination that was Brooks’ destruction was a card filled with fighters who actually deserved respect. Alistair Overeem and Stipe Miocic for years have toiled to be main event competitors and, in the case of Miocic, many believed they would never be star material in the UFC.

Jimmie Rivera who dominated UFC veteran Urijah Faber also deserved that respect. The 27-year-old has a record of 20-1. And yet the spotlight focused on Brooks. There were signs of hard work and experience that went simply ignored because of a man who wanted to “live out his dream.”

The UFC fell into a trap they long wished to avoid when Pride FC was at its height. The UFC sold itself on competition and putting the best fighters in the world into the octagon for each and every show. Even when signing Brock Lesnar back in 2008, the UFC toyed with the carnival act that would follow.

Signing Brooks and allowing him to be utterly destroyed for a paying audience was the final straw into what the UFC had fought so hard against. Pride took pleasure in putting great fighters against straight amateurs simply to watch famous people get hurt. Pro wrestlers, comedians and retired athletes all were led to slaughter much the same way Brooks was last night.

In the end Phil Brooks’ fight happened because he wanted it, not because he deserved it. For that, as a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu student and black belt in Taekwondo, I have no respect for Phil Brooks and feel that what happened at UFC 203 was a shame on the sport all in an effort for eyeballs.

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