When it was first revealed that the UFC had signed pro-wrestling star Phil “CM Punk” Brooks to a contract, Ben Askren was quick to criticize the move, but the ONE FC champ is clearly impressed with his new, Roufusport teammate.
A little while after Punk’s UFC deal was announced, the Illinois resident decided to go train with the Roufusport team in Milwaukee. Askren trains out of the renowned gym, as do other big names like UFC lightweight champ Anthony Pettis, his brother Sergio, Dustin Ortiz, and Erik Koch among others.
Recently MMA Junkie.com caught up with Askren, and the decorated wrestler was asked about how CM Punk’s training is coming along. Here is some of what “Funky” had to say:
“When someone decides to come into the UFC and they don’t have a combat sports background, you’re kind of thinking, does he really understand what he’s getting into?” Askren said. “But I think he gets it. I think he’s taking it very seriously.”
Askren was asked whether he believes Brooks will be ready to hang with UFC caliber fighters later in 2015, and after noting that Punk likely won’t fight a top tier fighter, he added:
“I don’t see why he can’t compete.”
Brooks is expected to make his UFC debut later in the year, and it remains to be seen at what weight class. The former WWE star initially said that middleweight was most likely, but more recently, Punk has stated that welterweight could be a real possibility.
Askren, meanwhile, is scheduled to fight Luis Santos at ONE FC 26 on April 27th. The latter has fought in over 70 pro MMA bouts to date…
Askren, on the other hand, has fought 14 times professionally and has won every single one of them. If he keeps rolling through the competition in ONE FC, you would hope at some point, the UFC can bring Askren on board. If you want to see the best fighters fight the best, then Askren should be throwing down with the UFC’s elite 170érs.