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CM Punk's UFC debut postponed for back surgery

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In news that isn't going to silence any of the critics and doubters that so infuriate Phil "CM Punk" Brooks,'s Ariel Helwani broke the news this morning that the former pro wrestler will undergo back surgery today.

The operation will indefinitely postpone his professional mixed martials arts debut, which was just set-up this past Saturday. Punk was supposed to fight Mickey Gall at UFC 199 or 200.

The condition is a lingering effect of his time in pro wrestling, according to the Chicagoan, and one he was unable to address through non-surgical means. He told our SBNation sister site:

My back has always bugged me. Figured it was just wrestling sh*t. Turns out it was.

It got bad enough to the point where I couldn't do anything the week before I went to train with the New Jersey Devils last month. One day I could manage, the next day I couldn't. I've been in agony for almost a month. Chiropractor, acupuncture, massage, cryotherapy ... nothing worked.

That training day in February was the site of his Complex interview that generated so much discussion about the former WWE champion last week. While concerns over his health might have contributed to a foul mood that day, it's curious why UFC would go ahead and launch his debut program if his status was so day-to-day.

The surgery, which Punk compared to the procedure former Heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez underwent last week, should sideline him for four-to-six weeks. He said he still hopes to fight at least once in 2016.

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