Duke Roufus says CM Punk taking time off training due to shoulder injury, expects Punk’s UFC debut in six to ten months

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

C.M. Punk

CM Punk’s UFC debut has been pushed back into the middle of 2016, as a shoulder injury has delayed his training.

Punk’s current trainer Duke Roufus explained in an interview with ESPN.com that Punk hurt his shoulder in a scramble.

“He got caught in a scramble, so right now he’s taking a little time off,” Roufus said. “He was doing great before that. His progress has been good. He’s got a great attitude and he’s a hard worker. He got a place in Milwaukee where he lives all week when he’s here training, so he’s in it to win it.

“Our biggest thing is we want him to 101 percent before [resuming training]. We don’t have a hard date for his fight to force the issue, so making sure he’s completely healthy is possible.”

Regardless of the injury, Roufus was asked how close Punk was from a skills standpoint to being ready to compete, and he thinks there’s still a ways to go.

“He’s about at 50 percent,” Roufus said. “But that being said, remember that my 100 percent is a very well-prepared person.

“The UFC will probably book him a fight three to four months in advance – a guy of his magnitude. We’re probably looking at a fight in the next 6-to-10 months. The injury throws us back one month. We had a ballpark. We were looking at mid- to late-spring. Now, we’ll just have to see how he comes back from the injury.”

Penick’s Analysis: It had been quite quiet on the Punk front as of late, and with news coming out that he’s filming a horror movie alongside his wife AJ Lee it was clear the UFC debut was not going to happen by January. At this point, the injury delay – especially given the fact that he turns 37-years-old this month – could mean a debut doesn’t actually wind up happening. He’s seemed to determine to make it happen, but he has to first heal from this injury and then still make the improvements necessary for all involved to feel comfortable putting him in the Octagon. That just may not happen.

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