CM Punk signs UFC deal to end speculation

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Former WWE Champion, Phil 'CM Punk' Brooks has signed a deal with the UFC and will look to make his debut in the promotion next year.

One of Punk's friends and renowned MMA journalist, Ariel Helwani, broke the news during UFC 181, tweeting out: "BREAKING: @CMPunk has signed with UFC."

The news comes in the wake of his interview on the Art of Wrestling podcast, where the 36-year-old revealed the reasons as to why he left the WWE this year.

A wise move for both parties?

The announcement of the deal has been met with mixed reviews from fans and critics alike, with many doubting Punk's skills. Unlike previous WWE stars like Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley, Punk has no real martial arts or amateur wrestling background and although he's been known to train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with the Gracies - he's not at a high level.

His record is 0-0 and he'll be entering the UFC as a middleweight competitor, so the division is certainly stacked against him. Also, at 36 years of age and nearly two decades of professional wrestling behind him, Punk's body has extreme wear and tear, including several knee injuries and multiple concussions, so it's not like he's coming in healthy like Lesnar did when he switched over.

Despite a history that wouldn't indicate the qualities of Punk becoming a legitimate threat to the championship - he'll be a huge mainstream star for the UFC and no matter what they're winning out.

How has the WWE reacted?

Just over a week ago, Punk rocked the world of professional wrestling with his side of the story as to why he left the WWE back in January after the Royal Rumble. WWE owner, Vince McMahon did an interview of his own with 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin, in which he disclosed what happened from his side and his wish to work with Punk in the future.

This clearly changes that and the WWE wasn't slow to react. They released a 'best of luck in your future endeavours' article on their website, referring to Punk by his real name, which appears to be what he'll use the in UFC, with CM Punk being a nickname.

Punk has received support from the likes of UFC fighter Cole Miller on Twitter but it looks like it's going to take a lot to overcome the odds for him to see UFC success.

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Dana White

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