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CM Punk struggling to let pro wrestling instincts go during MMA training for debut UFC fight

Ed Webster at Wikimedia Commons

Fox Sports caught up with CM Punk for an interview at UFC 185 this past weekend. While most interviews with Punk since he decided to make the switch from pro wrestling to MMA have been almost entirely devoid of anything of note, this one featured an interesting insight into the struggles related to making the change.

"I asked (Brock Lesnar) what the hardest thing for him to do was; he's a super freak athlete, but something had to be difficult for him. I find it's the exact same thing I'm having difficulty with, and that's learning to let go. Striking, sparring is completely different. Someone's trying to punch me in the face, I'm trying to punch them in the face. But often I'll find I'm too light on guys if I'm rolling, my hips aren't heavy enough, it's like I'm trying to work with them like the old pro wrestling kicking in, and he had the same problem, so it's interesting to know that."

Lesnar, for his part, found success fairly quickly despite struggling through making the transition, winning the UFC heavyweight championship in just his third fight for the promotion (and fourth overall). That said, as Punk mentioned, Lesnar is an athletic freak with a legitimate amateur wrestling background.

Punk needs every advantage he can get.

That he's having trouble turning off the worker within him while training for actual combat may sound troublesome but it's hard to imagine he'll run into that mental block while inside the Octagon.

If nothing else, his debut just got that much more intriguing, no?

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