Unless CM Punk gets injured again, the former WWE champion will step inside the Octagon for the first time on Sept. 10 at UFC 203.
It will be a day nearly two years in the making, and one of the biggest debuts in UFC history. Punk has no amateur MMA experience, so many observers are doubting whether Punk has what it takes to compete at an elite level.
Among his latest skeptics is veteran fighter Alistair Overeem, who will get his long-awaited heavyweight championship title shot against Stipe Miocic in the main event of UFC 203.
Ariel Helwani asked Overeem what he thinks of Punk's MMA run during an episode of The MMA Hour.
"Yeah, I’m curious as to how he’s going to do of course," Overeem replied. "But I think he’s in for a hard time. I don’t know who he’s matched against, but this is definitely different than pro wrestling. Especially in his weight class, he’s a welterweight, I believe. Those guys are tough man. He’s going to experience it firsthand. And you know the thing is too? If he does bad, the whole world’s going to be on top of him. If he does good, the next guy will be in line for him, and the next guy is going to just keep on coming. There’s so many good guys at welterweight.
Overeem, however, said he is not counting Punk out. It's time for him to prove himself though.
"I love the idea that he got into the UFC because I love tests," he said. "And he’s about to test himself, and you know, I’m going to have extra respect for him if he keeps on going. If he wins, and even if he loses -- if he wins and he keeps on going I’m going to have extra respect for him, but now we’re going to see what he is made of. Now we’re going to see the true character. Everybody wants to be a fighter, right until they get hit, until they get their face broken."
Image courtesy MMA Weekly