C.M. Punk UFC Documentary
“Evolution of Punk: The Ground Up”
Week 4 – September 5, 2016
Aired on Fox Sports 1
Up against Monday’s Raw, Fox Sports 1 aired the fourth and final installment of C.M. Punk’s documentary leading to his first UFC fight this Saturday, September 10.
Week 4 started with a look back to January 2016 with C.M. Punk on the road to training. Then, a look at February when Punk was cage-side to watch Mickey Gall beat Michael Jackson to get a fight against Punk. Punk was shown being impressed by Gall’s debut victory. They met in the cage after Gall’s fight to have a quick conversation.
And then the bottom fell out again. Three days after the fight was announced, Punk underwent back surgery, delaying his debut fight. Punk had a back issue affecting his spine. Punk said it depressed him to have surgery and have another delay. Punk said perhaps the back injury was holding him back in his training, so this might turn into a good thing.
Now Punk has an official date of UFC 203 on September 10. Punk’s opponent, Mickey Gall, was shown driving through New Jersey for his own training session preparing to fight Punk. Gall said he believes he has an advantage over Punk because Punk has to think too much in the cage.
Over at Gall’s training camp, they somewhat mocked Punk by working on bodyslam and Sharpshooter counters to Punk’s offense, joking that all they have on tape is his wrestling career. Punk said in a voice-over that if he wants to be jokey about this, then he’s going to get beat.
Now in July, Punk was shown meeting & greeting at a UFC Fanfest. Punk, with a giant beard, talked to fans about his debut fight. Meanwhile, Gall dogged Punk in his interview. He said he’s ready to smash Punk, who replied that he believes they’re on the same level because Gall hasn’t fought anyone legit yet.
Back at home, Punk and A.J. Lee talked about the countdown to Punk’s debut fight. Punk looked tired sitting on the couch talking to A.J. about how she could be in the arena watching him fight and not be seen by the fans.
Back to Gall training for Punk. Gall said he takes Punk very seriously because if he loses to him, then he’s going to look like a joke. Off to Punk’s training camp in July feeling better about his striking and cage work. Punk said his success or failure is now all on him.
Punk was then shown talking to Duke Roufus about the significance of fighting in Cleveland. Punk said it’s a wrestling town, and he also noted the connection of the post-2014 Royal Rumble Raw where he walked out of WWE. Punk recalled telling Vince McMahon this isn’t for him anymore. Punk said it’s an amazing connection. He recapped talking over the date for his fight and they said Cleveland. At first he didn’t want to do it because that’s where he walked out of WWE, but then he decided screw it. He doesn’t believe in curses.
The documentary transitioned to a hype video package on UFC 203 focused on whether Punk can fight.
Now in August, Punk worked with his striking coach on what he needs to improve on before the fight. Tyron Woodley gave Punk some tips before Punk entered the cage for a scrimmage. Punk was instructed to make sure he breathes. Punk drove his opponent into the cage, then got some more instructions before the third round. Punk delivered a nice punch combo to start the round. And he finished him with a rear-naked choke for a tap-out.
Punk got a final evaluation from Roufus, then packed his bags and drove off from the training center. Punk’s “Cult of Personality” theme music played as they flashed through photos from Punk’s wrestling career. It’s been a long time since hearing that on TV.
The documentary flashed through scenes from Punk’s lengthy training and various ups-and-downs trying to complete a dream to fight in UFC. Now he’s staring down Mickey Gall on Saturday night. “Can C.M. Punk fight? Absolutely,” Punk said to close the documentary.