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CM Punk: MMA Owes Its Existence to Wrestling

Former UFC fighter CM Punk recently sat down for an exclusive interview with ESPN, shedding light on the symbiotic relationship between professional wrestling and mixed martial arts (MMA). Punk, who has experienced both worlds, believes that MMA owes a debt to its wrestling counterpart.

CM Punk

Here are the key takeaways from his candid conversation:

  1. MMA Owes Its Existence to Wrestling:

  • According to Punk, “MMA as we currently know it wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for professional wrestling.” The two combat sports share a complex history, with wrestling influencing the very fabric of MMA.

  • Punk’s assertion highlights the interconnectedness of these disciplines, emphasizing that MMA’s evolution was shaped by the theatrics, athleticism, and storytelling of pro wrestling.

  1. The Money Trail:

  • Punk draws attention to the financial aspect. If MMA had been as lucrative as it is today during his early career, many fighters might have chosen that path over professional wrestling.

  • He cites examples like Ken Shamrock, who transitioned from wrestling to MMA, following the money trail. Similarly, Kurt Angle might have been scouted directly into MMA if the landscape had been different.

In the end, CM Punk’s insights remind us that MMA and professional wrestling share more than just a fighting spirit—they share a legacy that continues to shape the combat sports landscape


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