The UFC held a conference call with media today (listen to it in full here) to promote its upcoming UFC 203 pay-per-view (PPV) event scheduled for Sat., Sept. 10, 2016, at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. It’s notable because CM Punk was on the call to talk about his big mixed martial arts debut against Mickey Gall.
And, like he has been in every other interview he’s done since making the jump from pro wrestling to MMA, he was painfully dull.
Josh Nason at the Wrestling Observer actually asked if he’s simply not going to be using pro wrestling style promos anymore:
“I don’t see the need for it. You know? People either love me or hate me already. I’m not trying to talk anybody into the building on this one. I think the allure is just the fact that it’s happening, you know what I mean? And the story writes itself, so it’s not a fabricated thing where I need to kind of create some drama between me and Mickey. We’re going to fight. That’s the beauty of it. You know? It doesn’t need to be a weird verbal pissing contest. I think some of these guys, while it is entertainment and it’s the shit talk business, I just don’t see it, I don’t see it happening this time."
While he’s likely right about his sheer presence in the Octagon acting as a huge selling point, this isn’t like Brock Lesnar, a mammoth of a man who looks like he could go toe-to-toe with a bear. Sure, it was interesting because he came from a world of fake fighting to actual combat but his size and the attitude he brought with him put it over the top.
Punk, meanwhile, is just a guy, an unimposing figure who doesn’t look all that different than anyone else you might see throughout your day. Even in pro wrestling, what made him alluring was how good he was at running his mouth. If you take that away, what are you left with, especially considering his complete lack of history in this sport?
Then again he also said he doesn’t care about PPV buys right now. So if interest in this event, and this fight in particular, seems muted just nine days out, you know why.