CM Punk and the Curious Case of Freak Show Fights

CM Punk and the Curious Case of Freak Show Fights

It only took two minutes and 14 seconds for Mickey Gall to end the two-year odyssey that was the CM Punk experiment this past weekend at UFC 203.

With virtually no offence, it didn’t take long for the former WWE champion to succumb to the Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt’s ground game and tap to the rear naked choke.

With Gall sinking in the stranglehold it was a painful sight to behold, and it was a timely reminder that experiments and spectacles have no place within the UFC and Mixed Martial Arts.

Since the inception of the UFC in 1993, the sport of Mixed Martial Arts and the company itself has often faced criticism from fans and critics as to whether or not it’s a legitimate sport or a spectacle in comparison to its professional wrestling counterpart, the WWE.

In its twenty three-year existence, the UFC has worked hard in its attempts to legitimise the sport. From lobbying governments, changing and adapting various rules within combat, to the implementation of the infamous Reebok deal that was designed to clean-up the image of the fighters, the UFC has come along way to changing the opinions of those who use to view the sport as human cockfighting.

However, despite all these changes, it’s taken several steps back with these experiments and freak show fights.

Although the UFC aren’t the only MMA organisation guilty of delivering these kinds of fights, they are the premier organisation and should lead by example.

In the past we have seen other athletes from other sports perform in an MMA environment and get crushed within the first round, and CM Punk is just the latest example.

Athletes like former Major League Baseball star Jose Canseco and Former Boxing world champion James Toney have both tried and failed in their respective MMA bouts – highlighting that perhaps MMA is not for everyone.
The ideology of the original UFC concept was designed for those who literally thought they were tough enough to compete and prove themselves to the world against other men who shared the same mindset, and although she could give Punk credit for his heart and courage the modern MMA world takes no pity in the inexperience of a man who thinks or wanders if he can compete on the world stage.

MMA in 2016 is filled with younger and more talented stars than ever. When you look at the talented such as a Rory MacDonald, Sage Northcutt or a Mickey Gall these are young men, who have started their journey in adolescence and evolved in the highest level of talent and not a 37-year-old who wanted to fulfil a dream.

Despite Punk showing a willingness to fight again after such a humbling defeat where he goes from here has yet to be confirmed. However, giving the reception of the UFC President Dana White and the long time UFC commentator Joe Rogan it appears that his next fight could be outside of the UFC and in the amateur and regional circuit.

If this is the next course of action for the former WWE superstar it would be a wise one, but for the UFC and other top tier MMA organisations the next step should be to stop with cashing in on freak show fights and experiments.


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