It's no secret that when CM Punk walked away from the world of professional wrestling, thus leaving the WWE, he left on bad terms with the industry.
The former WWE Champion left in early 2014 after having several major concerns with the way the company was operating. He declared that his love for wrestling had died and he ventured off into various other projects.
One such project included making a career switch over to mixed martial arts (MMA). Punk signed a multi-fight deal with the UFC and began training with the Roufussport gym - which plays host to several current and former champions.
A New Beginning
After two-straight years of training, Punk made his debut in 2016 in Cleveland against Mickey Gall at welterweight. Unfortunately, Punk didn't realize - or anyone for that matter - that he would be fighting a highly skilled prospect.
Gall immediately took Punk down, battered him on the ground, before sinking in a rear-naked choke for the first round submission win on just over two minutes.
Despite the lopsided defeat, Punk remained adamant that he wanted to continue to fight and would try again. UFC President Dana White agreed to let him have one more fight, and so he did.
Punk fought this past weekend in his hometown of Chicago for the UFC 225 pay-per-view (PPV) where he opened up the main card.
He fought fellow 0-1 record holder Mike Jackson in a three round welterweight contest. Punk was able to survive all three rounds, mostly due to Jackson's reluctance to pull the trigger and finish the fight, and lost on the judges' scorecards.
You Sold Out
As expected, many in the professional wrestling industry had a huge reaction to the fight, but none bigger than current WWE commentator Corey Graves.
Graves completely went off on Punk, accusing him of ditching his friends and selling out:
Many wondered why exactly Graves said what he did on Twitter, and fans feared it could perhaps cost him his job if he upset any high-ranking WWE officials.
Fightful recently interviewed Graves to get his explanation for the comments:
"Well, to be honest, I’d never heard or been given that ultimatum," said Graves.
"It kinda shocked me when I texted him about grabbing dinner because we were in Chicago and he told me he no longer had any interest in being friends with me or anybody related to WWE.
"I respected his drive, and him doing his own thing," said Graves. "He sent me the text shortly before his first fight.
"Part of me just thought he was in a zone and I didn’t take offense.
"I texted him the day of his FIRST fight something along the lines of “I know life is nuts, I still love you good luck” Probably not verbatim, but you get the idea.
"What really set me off was this week when he essentially disowned the business that made him," Graves said.
"My only issue with him was that he turned off people that actually loved and supported him.
"Beyond “the business” and he never wanted anything to do with us...yet continued to present himself as this “Punk” hero.
"Dude, this has ZERO to do with court, or testimony or any of the above. Nothing that I tweeted was corporate," said Graves.
"I’m simply hurt/pissed off that a guy that I looked like as a big brother-type has turned his back on me and everyone that loved and supported him only because of the name on my paycheck.
"I’m definitely not the only one. I won’t name names, but there is a large group of us to this day that inexplicably lost a solid friend because of where we work."
What are your thoughts on Graves' comments regarding Punk and their friendship? Let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below!
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