When will Phil Brooks, aka "CM Punk", finally make his UFC debut? That has remained one of the major questions in the minds of mixed martial arts (MM)A fans all over the world as we near the end of the calendar year.
Brooks, who bid goodbye to WWE just a year ago, was supposed to make his octagon debut somehwere this year, but that didn't happen. After all, transitioning from pro-wrestling to MMA is a different ballgame altogether.
Brock Lesnar has been the biggest example. The "Beast Incarnate" had his first stint with the WWE in 2004. He then moved to New Japan Pro Wrestling a year later and finally left pro wrestling in 2007 to make his UFC debut in 2008.
Punk, who is most possibly going to be billed as a Middleweight fighter in the UFC, suffered a shoulder injury in training some months ago, and that has postponed his MMA debut with the company.
He is now slated to make his UFC debut sometime next year, but the question of when remains.
Even UFC Light Heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier waits for the debut of the former pro-wrestling star in the octagon. "I'm excited to see Phil make his debut. But I do think as time is passing, it starts to lose some of the intrigue," Cormier was quoted by Fox Sports USA as saying on "UFC Tonight".
"I think the iron was hot when he first walked out of the WWE [in early December last year] and that's when I think he would have made the biggest impression on the MMA community. Because WWE fans would have followed him to MMA."
Punk has found support from pro-wrestling veteran Chris Jericho. "I think it's great [Punk is delving into MMA]. I love it," Jericho was quoted by Wrestling Inc as saying. "I love the fact that he's going to do something he wants to do and he's taking a chance on doing something different.
"My opinion is if he's going to be going into this, you know he is going to be giving 10,000% and he's going to be good at it or die trying, so I wouldn't want to be the guy to face him in his first fight, I'll tell you that."
Punk roped in Duke Roufus as his MMA coach, and the duo has been training for a year now in Milwaukee. The 37-year-old has had some experience with Kempo Karate, and he has also trained under Rener Gracie in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Meanwhile, UFC President Dana White confirmed a few days ago that Punk would be featuring in the "EA Sports UFC 2" video game that is scheduled to release in spring next year.