Phil “CM Punk” Brooks will make his professional MMA debut this Saturday when he takes on Mickey Gall at UFC 203 in Cleveland. However, the way he got to fight is a pretty strange one.
The state of Ohio requires fighters making the pro debut to have had at least five amateur fights, with majority of them being wins. However, Punk has not had an amateur fight, but the Ohio Athletic Commission gave him a waiver to fight, along with a pretty odd reason behind their decision.
They spoke with Bloody Elbow and said that Punk’s debut is a lot like Brock Lesnar’s situation with the UFC.
“We felt it was like the Brock Lesnar situation, that there’s enough experience, and trust the UFC would have also ensured that he met the qualifications to compete as a Professional. We have permitted others with past experience to turn Professional. That’s why the exemption was put in the rule. We feel that this is a competitive matchup.”
This makes little sense as Lesnar had some technical wrestling background as he was a national wrestling champion at Minnesota before he began working at WWE. Lesnar had no amateur fights before making his debut with Hero’s at Dynamite!! USA in 2007.
However, if they truly feel like UFC is making the best decision with allowing Punk to fight, then they have every right to give him the waiver.
Whatever happens, it will be interesting to see how he will fare against Gall this Saturday.