Who’s been Punk’d?
The latest signing of CM Punk by the UFC has caused a lot of controversy so in this Colossal Concerns I’ll be taking a look at these varying opinions to see what all the fuss is about. I’ll see who in the MMA world should be half-expecting the smug, high-pitched crowing that signifies the arrival of that irritating jester of anti-comedy- Ashton Kunter. He will appear and announce that someone’s been Punk’d. But who?
Is it fair that all the MMA fighters who are on the same card as Mr Punk will have all paid their dues in various ways (all these ways involved blood, sweat and tears) to the realest sport in the World and he waltzes in from the fakest sport in the World to massive media attention and God knows how much cash? No, no it isn’t. But as someone a lot wiser than me once said “that’s life”, and it really is as simple as that. Everyone walks a different path, it just so happens Punky’s path has crossed over into MMA and the UFC. Because he’s a name he’ll put bums on seats- which equates to cash prizes- and that’s the way it works. If the Punkster wants to try his hand at MMA people will pay to see if he sinks or swims. Is this right? I’m not sure, I just know that this is the way things are.
Look, is it fair I got a shot against YouTube legend, the King of KO-ing, the toughest bloke at the family barbecue- Kimbo Slice- after Brett Rogers bingoed me? No, no it wasn’t. Is it fair that Kimbo was even there in the first place? No, no it wasn’t. In the Kimbo case I wish I’d grown a beard, purchased a camcorder, found a few wannabe hard men to dispatch, put it on YouTube and reaped the rewards- but I didn’t- so that’s that. Look, I get it but what’s a man supposed to do- turn down his chance because you never got yours?
The salt gets further massaged into the wounds by the fact the majority of MMA slaves fighters aren’t getting paid yet some long-haired, spandex-wearing, steel chair-wielding make-believe fighter suddenly gets the red carpet treatment. I get it, but rather than invest a lot of your time crying about how unfair the World is either change it, get used to it or use it as fuel to make sure you prise the cash you so rightly deserve out of the iron-fisted grasp of the UFC dictator’s hands.
Are the fans being fed a watered-down version of what top-class MMA should be? Maybe. But then that raises the question as to who decides what is top class MMA. Many fans would argue Prides was top class MMA and they certainly had a lot of freakshow fights- I know I was in a few. Plus there is a big difference between a hardcore MMA fan and the casual cage-fighting connoisseur. The latter far outweigh the former, their money is just as good, and there’s more of it. At the end of the day if the “fans” don’t want it they won’t buy it, so it’s something of a moot point. If they’re getting Punk’d they’re punking themselves and self-punking doesn’t count.
I was shocked to hear that the UFC signed C.M. (What does C.M. stand for, does anyone know?) because it goes against their business model. I mean the UFC had never been one for freak fights (after Dana took the reins). So it will hurt them, not in the short term, that’s for sure- there’ll be plenty of people putting their money down to see how he does in a world where it doesn’t matter what you say on the mic or if your gimmicks win over the fans (that much). What’s meant to matter is seeing whether Punkington doing this will give the ailing UFC PPV numbers a shot in the arm- so short-term great, long-term, who knows? He might end up being the catalyst for a whole host of WWE stars to fold away their steel chairs and think about giving this MMA thing a go given how easy Punks made it look; or he might become the dirty little secret the UFC are desperate to forget. Who knows?
How’s C.M. Punk punking himself? He’s getting loads of cash, attention and all the other good stuff yet he hasn’t had a fight yet- how can that be bad? Well you see all this comes with a flip side and that flip side is pressure. I don’t care who you are or what you think you can do, none of it matters when you’re in the cage and that spotlight is shining squarely down on you. This can make a big difference- everyone knows (or has heard of) a gym fighter: guys who are world-beaters in the gym yet can never replicate their results on the big stage. Why is this? Simply, pressure.
Now C.M. Punk’s never had a fight- he might’ve watched a few DVDs and done a bit of Jits but big deal, that hardly qualifies him for what he’s about to encounter. Plus, it takes a hell of a lot of time to get good at MMA and the Punkerator- at 36 years old and 0-0- certainly hasn’t got much of that on his side. What I’m saying is the bed of roses that most people complain about might end up being a bed of thorns- ohhhhhh pointy and uncomfortable thorns…I’ll guess we’ll see whether the Punk ends up punking himself.
Mr White is a promoter- his job is to promote the biggest and best fights, as well as the ones the casual cage-fighting connoisseur will pay for. It’s a business. I fully understand this- see what’s written above. However you can’t have it both ways: you can’t say “we’re the UFC, we only have serious fights for the best legitimate fighter” and then go and sign C.M. Punk and not expect to get called on it. That’s my point and I’ve been making it since day one. Dana White is a promoter; he will say and do whatever he has to to protect his bottom line. The fact is, he’s not a fan of MMA, he won’t even fucking say it.
Dana White reminds me of the old fable I heard as a kid which sums up the situation. The snake offers the rabbit a ride across the river. He gives his word he won’t eat the rabbit, so off they go. Half way across the river the snake turns to the rabbit and opens his mouth. He’s just about to bite into the rabbit so the rabbit says “you gave me your word you wouldn’t eat me”. The snake looks at the rabbit and says, “I’m a snake, what did you expect” and with that, swallows the rabbit whole.
So when Dana white says “we’re not signing (former Olympic wrestler and unbeaten MMA fighter) Ben Askren, he’s not got enough experience” but then the very next week goes and signs 0-0 WWE wrestler C.M. Punk, and they’re scratching their heads thinking “this makes no sense”, it’s because they haven’t figured out that The Baldfather’s sensibility changes depending on which way the wind’s blowing. He’s just being what he is- a promoter. As soon as this sinks in, the better it is for everyone. He’s been so quick to jump on anyone and anything he doesn’t deem as proper MMA yet he’s left himself wide open when he’s done exactly the same thing.
And that’s why he’s the one that ends up being Punk’d.
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