Training CM Punk For UFC Debut An “Exciting Challenge” For Roufus
“I am excited to work with him. There are a bunch naysayers out there. I love it. I’d been saying for years in the WEC that Anthony Pettis was going to be something special. Well look at him now. He just submitted two guys [Benson Henderson and Gilbert Melendez] that hadn’t been submitted before.
“I’m just that type of person, I believe in positive mental attitude. You work hard and dedicate yourself and magic things happen.”
“It was a mutual coming together. I’m sure everybody in the sport would love to work with him. He’s my friend first, and that’s what I enjoy about him. I like to be friendly and close with the fighters I work with because it makes it a lot easier. Everyone knows his wrestling persona; I know the real Phil. That’s why I’m excited to work with him.
“Honestly, for me, from a personal standpoint? I have an older brother who is an incredible force in the sport of kickboxing,” he says, referring to his Rick “The Jet” Roufus. “He was not just a natural athlete, but a natural fighter. Me? I was an overachiever, and that’s what’s helped me coach. I’m going to connect and find a way for Phil to be successful. That’s what I bring to the table.
“And I’m really excited about the challenge, honestly. There are so many naysayers, but I enjoy that.”
During a recent chat with MMAFighting.com, Duke Roufus, the man tasked with preparing CM Punk for his UFC debut, talked about training the WWE superstar, and what his expectations are.