On the decision to fight in the UFC:
"It was actually a really easy decision to make. Time will tell how wise of a decision it was, but I'm excited. I finally feel like there's something that I can put 100-percent of myself into and I will get 100-percent back. If I slack off, if I sit on the couch and just eat Doritos and give 50-percent, only train three days a week, that will obviously show. That's not my plan. My plan is to go full tilt, kick my own ass so I don't get my ass kicked when I step into the Octagon. Very easy decision and I'm the kind of person who likes goals and challenges, and this is the biggest challenge I've ever put in front of me. I'm very excited to climb that mountain, so to speak."
On the fans reaction:
"Oh, I'm staying the fuck off Twitter right now because I, you know, I've got friends and family texting me, patting me on the back with congratulations and thumbs up. I'm staying away from the negativity for now."
On what he thinks he can accomplish at his age:
"You know, I'm not going to try to give you some inspirational message or anything like that. I know there's a lot of kids out there that look up to me, maybe, I don't know. I always just tell them: Don't let anybody tell you that you cannot do something. If you want to do something, as long as it doesn't harm anybody else, do it. Choose a path and work towards it to the best of your ability, and that's all I'm doing here. I'm 36 years young. I haven't felt this good... do I look okay? Nobody? All right, tough crowd. It's all good. It's okay, I'm sorry. I'm just as nervous as you are. I'm not really used to being in front of large groups of people and speaking. No, I'm going to give it 100-percent. I just don't let anybody tell me that I cannot do something because I believe in myself and I know I can."
On comparisons to Brock Lesnar:
"Well, you hear positive and negative things about Brock. 'Oh, Brock, he's a wrestler, he got knocked out.' No, dude. Brock was the heavyweight champion. So if somebody is going to compare me to Brock Lesnar, I'll take that. I think I'm a little cuter, but you know."
On his weight and plans for what weight to fight at:
"The first legitimate conversation I had with Lorenzo and Dana, I was 215. I ate so much food in front of them. In hindsight I was like 'maybe I shouldn't have done that.' I ate everything. But since then I've already lost 15 pounds. I've been training my ass off already anticipating this. It's super exciting for me. I think I could, I don't want to say easily, get to 185. I'm going to do a test weight cut. I'm going to use all the contacts I already have to get the best nutritionist or what not and see how I feel. I'm just not ruling out 170. I've gotta test my body, my body fat percentage and all that other stuff. I'm just not ruling out 170 just in case. But 185 is the most likely target."
On what his background is and what he might bring to the cage to make him successful:
"Just for the length that I've known Rener and been working with him, I would definitely say my base is jiu-jitsu. I'm by no means like a kickboxing whiz or anything like that but I intend to be as well rounded as I can before I step foot in the cage."
On whether or not he feels like the UFC was attracted to him for his being an attraction to help PPV buys:
"I would like to think that Chael (Sonnen) was emulating me for most of his career, and I say that lovingly. I definitely think that's an aspect of it. If I was just Phil Brooks... I'm coming into the biggest fighting organization in the world with an 0-0 record, I understand that. I'm sure people are going to throw that in my face but that does not bother me. It's the reality of it and I embrace that reality. Can CM Punk fight? Yeah, I think everybody on some level can fight; it's in our DNA. I tend to take this seriously and like I said with Joe Rogan cageside: I respect everybody who has ever stepped foot in the cage and before I'm done here everybody will respect me as well."
What was the UFC reaction to him wanting to do this and did they take him seriously right off the bat:
"No, because I want to say... I can't even remember... it was here, it was in Mandalay Bay. I think in passing I might have said something to Lorenzo like half assed joking and then he half assed joked back. I think that's where the seed was planted. I didn't have to beg, they didn't have to beg. Honestly, I think it's a perfect match because of guys like Brock Lesnar who have laid the groundwork. Dana already told me somebody asked him ... 'oh, I thought you don't do freak show fights' and I kind of wear that like a badge because I was a huge PRIDE fan. So if anybody out there considers me a freak show fight, I think that's kind of funny."
On if he would have taken a fight somewhere else if the UFC had said no:
"Absolutely. I think because, and people close to me know how long I've talked about doing this, this isn't so much about UFC, it's about me and what I know I have inside of me. I want to prove not only to the world but more importantly to myself, this is something that I've thought about for a very long time and haven't been able to do. Once the opportunity presented itself I would have been a fool to say no."
On the no-compete clause situation with WWE and getting that cleared up before coming to UFC:
"That all got cleared up, actually, on my birthday. It was a nice birthday present. Myself and WWE settled everything and the no compete went out the window. (My birthday is) the 26th of October. Yeah (I was free to go when I did the interview with Colt Cabana)."
On talking to Rener Gracie or anyone else about what they thought his chances would be:
"I didn't want to talk to too many people within the MMA community because obviously if multiple people know a secret it no longer is a secret. But Rener is somebody I trust dearly. At the beginning of November when I went out there and I was like 'I've gotta train every day, twice a day.' I'm doing this, I'm doing that.' He was kind of like 'okay, why, what's the deal?' I just, I told him I was fighting. I didn't say UFC, I didn't give him anymore details. He, like a brother, is concerned about doing that because he has trained and rolled with the best of the best, Lyoto Machida, guys who have been champions here. So he knows the level of competition and he knows me. But he also knows I don't take no for an answer and how determined I am. So I have his full, undying support, which is nice in these trying times."
On any reaction from anyone at WWE:
"I mean, I've got friends... my wife works there! So I have talked to her and she's not thrilled but she's okay with it, and she's got my back 100-percent. That means the world to me. I got a lot of other friends who are ecstatic. My phone exploded when we made the announcement and I haven't gotten the chance to go through it all because I was watching the fights. That will be what I'm doing after dinner tonight, is just playing on my phone."
On if Rener will continue to be his trainer or if he'll find a new camp:
"That's an interesting question. Rener is always going to be my guy but when we get closer to figuring out when I'm ready and if we have a date, I don't know if I want to piece meal a camp together. I definitely need to find a place that is best for me and my needs. I don't want to be somebody who is just going to cherry pick guys that I'm comfortable with. I need to go to a place that breeds champions and trains the best. I'm not saying I have the pick of the litter so far, I just have a lot of friends who have already, with open arms, said 'come here, come here, come here.' So I'm fortunate in that respect. I don't have a crystal ball. I would love to see Rener walk into the cage with me if that helps answer the question. But I don't know for sure, I've gotta talk to him."
On if he's willing to mention any specific places he's considering:
"I'm legit considering them all. I really want to go somewhere, like I said, that is the best fit for me. It's weird being CM Punk the WWE guy. I've been to gyms, not only in Chicago, but across the country, if I'm on the road or whatever, when you walk in there and you kind of have a bullseye on you. Like 'oh, I'm going to break the phony pro wrestling guy's arm' when I just wanted to roll or sweat or what not. So I've just got to make sure I'm comfortable with everybody. First and foremost, I don't know if moving somewhere is an option. Obviously one of the priorities in my life is my wife and my relationship with her. So, we might have to rent somewhere, I might have to buy a condo. I'm prepared to do all of it. As long as she's supporting me, the sky is the limit."
On why he would go to the UFC first and not get a fight under his belt like Brock Lesnar did:
"I think that's where Dana and Lorenzo come in and say the big business is your first fight. So win, lose, or draw, if I fought somewhere else maybe a little bit of the luster would have gotten knocked off. Make no mistake, this is very much a business as well as fighting. There's both sides of it and I think they kind of merged perfectly. I was willing to do that, and I still would be. It's weird; this is something I'm doing for myself to test myself and it's certainly not all about the money but it's certainly nice to get paid."