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Fighters and Trainers Answer: Is Phil ‘CM Punk’ Brooks Ready for His UFC Debut?

Former World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) superstar Phil “CM Punk” Brooks makes his professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) debut on Saturday, at UFC 203. Now almost 21 months removed from this surprising career change, and with almost as much time spent training, finding an answer to the question; “Is Phil Brooks ready for his debut?” is readily available.

After his signing with the UFC, Brooks quickly chose to do his training with Duke Roufus, at his well-respected Roufusport gym in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is the home of MMA stars like former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis and ONE Championship welterweight kingpin Ben Askren.

Recently, cable network Fox Sports 1 debuted a four-part series—The Evolution of Punk—chronicling his journey towards fight readiness. With that footage available, along with the knowledge we have of Brooks before training, we felt it was a good time to get thoughts from personalities within the industry. And see if he has had enough time to prepare for his bout on Sep. 10.

MMASucka: CM Punk has been training towards an MMA debut for the better part of 19 months (he missed two months due to shoulder surgery). In your opinion, is that enough time for his coaches at Roufusport to get him prepared for UFC-level competition? It should be noted Punk has had zero amateur bouts and has no notable ranking in a base martial art.

Colin Oyama (Owner and head coach at Team Oyama gym. He has over 18 years of MMA coaching experience): There is an entertainment value that the UFC wants, so that re-defines what “UFC-level” competition means. For example, in pro boxing any promoter can go out and find a “pro” to fight against any level of entry opponent. The UFC can probably do the same. But would he stand a chance against an average level fighter that’s competitive in the UFC circuit? I don’t believe so, not in 19 months.

Anthony “2 Ton Tony” Ciampa (3-0 Amateur heavyweight, fighting out of American Top Team): Honestly speaking, even though he was a physical-performance athlete, I think that it takes more than 19 months to be ready for a shot at the big leagues.

Leonardo “Danger” Perez (Featherweight fighter based out of Bonebreaker Gym, with 14 amateur/professional bouts): I don’t think he has had enough time to be competitive in the UFC. He just hasn’t had the experience in the cage. Training and fighting are two different things and he is jumping straight into the big leagues.

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Cheap Seats and The Stickman Podcast: McGregor/Diaz II, ATT Coach Paul Gavoni and Hollywood Beat

On this episode of the show we talk about the main event of UFC 202–Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz–with renowned American Top Team striking coach Dr. Paul “Paulie Gloves” Gavoni. Paulie has been a striking coach in the industry for almost two decades, having coached fighters like Brad Pickett, Jeff Monson and Melvin Guillard. We ask him his thoughts on CM Punks upcoming debut, a possible fighters union and of course about McGregor/Diaz II.

Also on the show we speak about some recent Hollywood news. The topics include Ghostbusters, Suicide Squad and a new show with Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg!

You can download the show on Google Play and iTunes by searching “Cheap Seats and The Stickman” on either format.

You can follow Paulie on twitter @PaulieGloves, on facebook at Paulie Gloves and at his website

You can follow Jason on twitter @cheapseatschat and Jose @stickmancinema

The song used in the opening is Simon Panrucker’s “Treasure Hunt (Instrumental)”