CM Punk's UFC Debut Delayed Again, Needs Back Surgery

Fightland Blog

By Mike Piellucci

Photo by Ed Mulholland/Zuffa LLC

CM Punk's UFC debut is on hold... again.

The 37-year-old told MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani that he's having surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back. The procedure comes with a four-to-six week recovery, which will scrap his recently announced debut fight against Mickey Gall. Interestingly enough, per Helwani, Punk—real name: Phil Brooks —had been informed by a doctor that he would require surgery prior to UFC publicly announcing the Gall fight during Saturday's Fight Night 82 event, but "Punk decided to keep that news for himself."

Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

It's the second injury-related setback for the former WWE star since he signed with UFC in December 2014. In October, Punk suffered a shoulder injury during training, scuttling plans for a competitive debut before the end of 2015. Now, he'll wait well into 2016 to finally make it into the octagon. Punk says he experienced discomfort in his back leading up to training with the New Jersey Devils last month. "One day I could manage, the next day I couldn't," he told Helwani. "I've been in agony for almost a month. Chiropractor, acupuncture, massage, cryotherapy ... nothing worked." Punk says the injury is longstanding and stems from his pro wrestling career.

Still, Punk is confident that "this is just a bump in the road" and he intends to fight in 2016. UFC has yet to release comment on the situation.


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