CM Punk’s sophomore UFC effort, a decision loss to Mike Jackson, didn’t go a whole lot better than his first, a first-round submission loss to Mickey Gall. Despite his unfortunate 0-2 record, however, nobody is questioning Punk’s heart.
Over the course of his two MMA bouts, the 39-year-old former pro wrestler showed that, while he may be short on actual ability, he’s long on guts and toughness. That seems to be one of the main takeaways for Punk’s jiu jitsu coach, Daniel Wanderley.
“Our plan was to go for takedowns early,” Wanderlay told MMA Fighting of Punk’s bout with Jackson. “We knew [Jackson] didn’t have much of a ground game, so he could scramble and submit or work on his ground and pound on top. His jiu-jitsu is better when he’s on top. He tried a triangle when he was off his back, but he was already hurt and it was hard to finish. Not that he did something wrong, but I think that the adrenaline of his [WWE] court case, that battle during fight week didn’t help. We were confident that he would win, but unfortunately we couldn’t.
“We’re proud of him because he went there and fought hard. At one point we thought Mike would end the fight, but we saw his heart there.”
From here, Wanderley feels that Punk would probably be wise to steer clear of any more MMA bouts. He does not, however, believe the former wrestler should give up on his combat sports dreams. More specifically, he thinks its time for Punk to try his hand in the world of competitive grappling.
“I hope he continues training and maybe enters a jiu-jitsu competition, something he has always talked about,” Wanderley said. “I hope he comes back with a good mindset and keeps training jiu-jitsu because that’s good for his life. I think that’s a perfect sport for him.
“I think he should continue training kickboxing, jiu-jitsu, wrestling, but training for a [MMA] fight is too hard. I wish he would go on to compete in jiu-jitsu because you face opponents at your age, your skill level, your belt rank, so you don’t fight someone more experienced than you. That’s my recommendation for him.”
Do you think we’ll see CM Punk in jiu jitsu competitions going forward?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/15/2018.