C.M. Punk says training for tonights UFC fight has been “relaxing” compared to the WWE lifestyle, despite the grind of working out at the gym two or three times a day. In fact, he called MMA training a vacation compared to WWE.
“The biggest difference is not traveling,” he said during last week’s 48 minutes official UFC 203 media conference call. “I’ve had a couple of friends asking me what’s harder. You can’t really say in that aspect because it’s comparing apples to turnips. I’m not traveling every day, not in a different timezone every day, not doing aggressive media tours every Monday morning and performing at night and somehow in between there sneak in a workout on three hours of sleep. That’s a lifestyle. This is vacation.”
Another aspect of the MMA lifestyle he likes is being able to focus on himself and not worry about the company he works for or cutting bombastic promos to hype his fight.
“It’s pretty calming and relaxing,” he said. “Carrying an entire company on your shoulders, after a while it sucks. With this, it’s just me, and you’re more relaxed, focused on yourself, not worried about what everybody else is doing or PPV numbers or buyrates or ratings or merchandise sales. I focus on one thing and one thing only, and that’s myself.
“I wake up, eat, go to the gym, whether it’s a good day or bad day you shake it off, you take a nap, eat, go back to the gym,” he said. “There are different things you can build on, focus on. You can drill it and work on it and have a more singular focus. In the WWE life, there’s guys who have kids and they’re married. I don’t know how they do it. I guess that’s why the divorce rate is so high.”
KELLER’S ANALYSIS: What I took away from Punk’s entire media conference session is how much happier he seems now than when in WWE. I don’t think people in MMA who aren’t familiar with pro wrestling fully grasp how much of a grind and cult-like lifestyle expectation goes along with WWE pro wrestling careers. The travel, performances, gym training, and political head games that come along with that career are just ridiculous (needlessly so, by the way), so I wasn’t at all skeptical of Punk saying he’s much happier now. Calling it a “vacation” might seem strange to some in MMA, but to me it really isn’t a surprising description of the relative differences in lifestyle. Punk, especially, is the type of personality who wants some level of personal control or he goes a little nuts because if I knows a lot about something and someone else has power to do things differently than he believes is the obviously better way, he doesn’t cope with that well. Being able to be in an environment where he’s soaking up information and skills from people who actually do know more than him is a much more comfortable circumstance for him.