Fans hoping to see former WWE Superstar CM Punk make his debut in UFC may be waiting longer than first anticipated, if the comments from head of Roufusport founder, Duke Roufus, are to be believed.
Roufus is a man in the know when it comes to Punk's start to life as a UFC fighter with the ex-WWE star having begun training at his Milwaukee camp. Indeed Monday marked Punk's first session but it looks like he is in need of plenty more before he can seriously be considered ready for the Octogon.
When announcing his surprise switch to the sport, Punk initially put a "six to seven month" time frame on his debut. Roufus however is more pessimistic, stating it could well be up to 12 months before Punk (real name Phil Brooks) will take on his first opponent.
"It could be six months to a year," came Roufus' response when quizzed on Punk's future prospects on day one of his training.
The extended time frame will leave many disappointed but with the 35-year-old having never fought in an MMA match in his life to date it is to be expected that the team around him as he begins this new challenge are keen to dampen expectations of a quick turnaround.
As well as managing expectations, Roufus also gave an insight into what Punk can expect to come up against as he builds towards being ready for primetime.
"I'm excited to work with him. Knowing the type of person he is, I think he is going to surprise some people," he explained.
"He is going to get exposed working with the world-class guys, but he is also going to get exposed to newer guys, too. That is the key to what we have going on is you have some high-level guys working together and you can experiment a lot with newer guys and use them as quality sparring partners to get your confidence better."
CM Punk may not fight in front of an audience until 2016 but it hasn't stopped criticism thrown his way regarding his quick rise to the UFC's doorstep.
Many, including several MMA fighters still waiting for their UFC chance, have condemned Punk's rapid rise but Roufus has followed his fighter's stance - the more criticism the better.
"You see a lot of guys in the UFC attacking him or guys are hoping for a fight. Let's face it, it's prize fighting and Phil brings crowds."
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