Sometime next fall, a man named Phil Brooks will step in the octagon for his UFC debut. It will come with much fanfare, as Brooks, known as CM Punk to a generation of WWE fans, will see if he can actually survive in an unscripted fight.
Brooks stopped by HuffPost Live on Thursday, telling host Ricky Camilleri that he isn't focused so much on the hoopla surrounding his addition to Dana White's flourishing enterprise as he's worried about "training [his] ass off."
"It's too soon to say, 'Oh I want the title,' and this and this and that. I respect MMA and I respect all the fighters, all the weight classes, all the genders and all the organizations," Brooks said. "I understand that what I've been given here is very special. So I'm not looking past anything but my training and that first fight."
Brooks has said he'll likely fight as either a middleweight (170-185 pounds) or even a welterweight (155-170 pounds) in the organization. Former UFC fighter Chael Sonnen said in interviews earlier this week that Brooks texted Sonnen directly seeking a fight. Brooks said Thursday he has no idea who he will fight, and that he'll leave that part up to White.
"It'll be a while. It's not going to be in February, March or summer, anything like that," he said. "The earliest we're shooting for is like fall. It's something I've got to discuss with Joel Silva and Dana White."
Watch the rest of the clip above, and catch the full HuffPost Live conversation here.
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