WWE legend The Undertaker had an incredible chat with Joe Rogan on the JRE Experience podcast and even provided some input on why fellow wrestler CM Punk failed when he made the jump to UFC.
Mark Calaway, better known by his stage name, The Undertaker, has been a massive fan of mixed martial arts. His wrestling style was often compared to that of MMA, having coined the nickname of being the best pure striker in the business.
A number of wrestlers working for Vince McMahon’s company have also tried their hand, switching the squared circle for the octagon. Only a few have made a success out of it, though, with the likes of Brock Lesnar and Jack Swagger (real name Jacob Hager) two of the standouts.
After discussing some of the ins and outs of the business, Joe Rogan inquired about what Phillip ‘CM Punk’ Brooks was up to in a chat with the Phenom. Both had opinions on the crossover as well, after seeing Punk defeated both times in the UFC.
Undertaker on CM Punk’s switch from WWE to UFC
“God, that was a crazy gamble for him to fight,” Rogan said, referring to his appearances in UFC.
“I’m not real close with him, I mean we got along. I didn’t understand it,” Undertaker replied. “He had an issue [with WWE] and sometimes people need a new challenge.”
As Taker said, CM Punk was a top guy for WWE before his departure. While he didn’t delve into the drama surrounding his decision to leave, it’s been well documented that his issues were in regards to injuries, his status in the company and payment.
“I don’t know enough, because I was around enough at that time, but I don’t know that he had enough background. It was late in the game for him to make that transition [to MMA],” he added. “It was easier for Brock [Lesnar]. Brock had that strong wrestling pedigree.”
Rogan on CM Punk
After hearing out the thoughts of Undertaker, Rogan chimed in with an easy comparison – Brock Lesnar. “Brock’s also a crazy athlete!” he said, probably thinking back to him winning the UFC Heavyweight title. “You see his combine numbers? Bananas.”
“He’s one of those guys that define… he was 260 pounds, but his shot was like a 160. You can’t believe someone of his size can move the way he can move. He’s a freak,” Callaway elaborated. “I mean, for Punk, if he just wanted the challenge, good for him. I mean, he tested it.”
(Segment begins at 2:33:00)
Rogan seemed to agree. “I think that’s what it was. He fought Mickie Gall and it didn’t work. Then he fought Michael Jackson, another guy afterward who was a pretty solid striker… but he wasn’t put in there with someone who was going to kick his off head into the fifth row. It was a good fight for him, but not really.”
While the two believe that CM Punk got good money out of it, being deep in his 30s made the transition awkward. According to Rogan, he did it the wrong way and should have had some amateur fights under his belt before going to UFC.
Hopefully, more people take Rogan’s advice before they try their luck in mixed martial arts.