Sure, not everyone is down with the UFC’s decision to sign Phil “CM Punk” Brooks, but during a year where the promotion’s profits could be down 40%, the news shouldn’t be that surprising. In other words, when money flows start to slow down, sometimes stepping out of the conventional box into the ‘freak show’ one becomes a little more tempting.
Of course, no one at this stage really knows how Brooks will look in the Octagon, and not only is he a ridiculously talented athlete, he’s reportedly trained in BJJ for some time. In addition, the UFC’s boss man Dana White has relayed that Brooks won’t thrown in there against the likes of Yoel Romero to kick things off (quote via MMA Junkie.com):
“It’s not like he’s going to come in like Brock Lesnar did. … We’re not going to throw the kitchen sink at him like we did Lesnar,” said White, who also added that Lesnar had a “good wrestling background”, and that Brooks will probably fight an opponent with a 1-0, 1-1 record etc.
Yes, not only was Lesnar an accomplished collegiate wrestler, but he had one pro MMA bout under his belt before he signed with the UFC. That said, they did have him scrap a former heavyweight champ, Frank Mir, in his promotional debut. Lesnar was kneebarred in under two minutes, but went on to avenge the loss one year later in 2009.
While one can understand why White doesn’t plan on throwing Brooks to the wolves, critics will naturally argue he should be. After all, isn’t this the UFC? Where the best of the best come to fight?
When asked about sagging pay-per-view sales, and the signing of CM Punk, White responded:
“Pay-per-views were down because we haven’t had any fights that have held together,” White said. “But yeah, this guy can definitely sell some pay-per-views.”
Yes, chances are he will, at least the first time out anyways. The funny thing is, even the biggest MMA purists, will likely tune in to see how Brooks does. I know I will.