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Duke Roufus' cornering of Anthony Pettis at UFC 185 should concern CM Punk

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

CM Punk walked his teammate, Anthony Pettis, to the cage for his fight against Rafael dos Anjos in the main event of last night's UFC 185 pay-per-view in Dallas, Texas. He did not corner "Showtime" however, for obvious reasons. Duke Roufus, the leader of the Roufusport team both are a part of, took the lead on that and his decision making during the fight should be cause for concern for the former WWE star.

Pettis was manhandled by dos Anjos for all five rounds of the lightweight championship contest. The beating started early and it appeared the champion was injured possibly as soon as the very first round. Pettis himself would later confirm the first punch of the fight hurt him and robbed him of his vision for the remainder of the contest. UFC President Dana White would later say that Pettis suffered a concussion during the bout but the more obvious issue was the fact that his right eye was badly swollen. By the end of the fourth round he outright admitted to his corner he couldn't see out of it.

Despite this, Roufus sent him back out for the fifth round of a fight he was badly losing with his only hope of victory coming by way of a Hail Mary finish. Mike Fagan at MMA Sucka is one of the few MMA media folks bothering to call attention to it:

By the end of the third, Pettis had lost all hope of winning a decision.

Then, this exchange in between rounds four and five:

Roufus: You can do this. Stay focused-

Pettis: I can't see out of my right eye.

Roufus: I know, I know. Let's move that angle. Let's do this, baby. Let's go, champ.

Pettis wasn't just losing the fight; dos Anjos was beating him up. And yet, here's Duke Roufus sending his one-eyed fighter back out to take more damage in the hopes that he could pull out a miracle. (Live wagering had dos Anjos as an 8-1 favorite heading into the fifth.) This is an all too common event in MMA, and one perpetuated by the sport's macho culture.

To somehow makes this situation even worse, Mike Goldberg gives us this beauty: "When Duke says son, he truly means that." A father should never intentionally put his son into the kind of danger Duke Roufus intentionally put Anthony Pettis in last night.

Fagan also points out this isn't the first time the Roufusport team has come under fire for related issues.

When Punk's podcast with Colt Cabana dropped, a recurring theme in his WWE story was medical mistreatment, namely the fact that he felt WWE doctors failed to adequately take care of his needs. That included multiple concussions and various other injuries he was allegedly pressured to work through.

So what happens if Punk finds himself in a similar situation to Pettis, concussed and unable to see out of one of his eyes, and Roufus elects not to stop the fight? Keep in mind, Pettis is a seasoned professional fighter. He was the champion of a deep lightweight division going into last night's bout.

Punk has no experience in combat sports on any level.

While the UFC has promised Punk will be matched up against an opponent at a similar skill level, the idea that he will have a leader in his corner who has shown an unwillingness to throw in the towel if things go horribly wrong is troublesome to say the least.

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