CM Punk’s trademark walkout song “Cult of Personality” by Living Colour was an apt way to begin his transition from WWE superstar to UFC fighter. But the odds were stacked heavily against him right from the opening round.
The UFC debut of CM Punk, whose real name is Phil Brooks, came and went in a matter 2 minutes and 14 seconds at UFC 203 last Saturday night at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
His opponent Mickey Gall scored a takedown in the opening seconds and then mauled Punk on the mat before submitting him by rear naked choke.
Punk said loved every minute of it and promised he would be back.
“In life, you go big or go home,” he said. “I like to take challenges. This was a helluva mountain to try to climb and I didn’t get to the summit today, but that doesn’t mean I’m gonna give up or stop.”
But it was the main event of UFC 203 which had the crowd on their feet after heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic survived a dangerously deep guillotine choke to defeat Alistair Overeem by TKO at 4:27 of the first round.
Miocic and Overeem traded big punches in the opening minutes and the crowd seemed to be hanging on every overhand right from Miocic and overhand left from Overeem. Both men were rocked at one point but it was a takedown by Miocic that won him the fight. He gained top position and began to rain huge punches that eventually left Overeem’s head bouncing off the canvas.
“He hit harder than I thought, he knocked me down but I wasn’t hurt,” Miocic said.
“I said I would keep this belt for a long time and I did it. I wanted to shut him down, turn the mother board off.”
Overeem said while Stipe was the better man, he believed he tapped out after securing the guillotine choke.
In the co-main event Fabricio Werdum defeated Travis Browne in a strange 15-minute heavyweight scrap.
Werdum started the fight out with a flying sidekick and then dominated the round, landing some 60 strikes to just 12 from Browne. Werdum also almost submitted “Big Hapa” with a choke on his back. Werdum seemed to coast from there but it was enough to win 29-28, 29-27, 30-27.