CM Punk recently spoke with MMAJunkie.com to promote Saturday's return to the Octagon at UFC 225 in Chicago. Punk is scheduled to face Mike Jackson, who also has a record of 0-1-0. Punk's full interview with MMA Junkie is at this link and below are highlights:
If the libel & slander suit from WWE's Doctor Chris Amann (which Punk and Colt Cabana won on Tuesday) distracted him going into the UFC return:
"A very broad answer, is it didn't (distract me). I knew it was coming, and they delayed it as long as possible, because I think they knew (I had a fight scheduled). I think the general consensus is, 'Wow, this is really going to mess with him.'
"I'm a different breed, though. I was planning for it. and we worked around it, and all the hard work was done anyway, so easy-peasy. … It feels like more than a load off my shoulders. It still hasn't sunk in, and it probably won't for a while, but I'm happy it's over."
Leaving MMA never being an option and his enjoyment of MMA taking some of the pressure off going into this second fight:
"It's not the weight-of-the-world pressure, like with all the talk of I shouldn't be here to begin with and I definitely should've gotten cut after the last fight. I'm probably on the chopping block, but who knows? Maybe not. I don't look past Saturday. It's not like I'm tired of training and I'm sick of training and I wish I was doing something else or I have my eyes set on doing movies or becoming a pro golfer or working in the mailroom somewhere. I still enjoy training every single day. I still am fortunate that can be my full-time job. I train with guys who have one or two other side jobs, and I see how hard they work, and it just motivates me to work even harder. We'll have to see what happens Saturday night, and then maybe it's a question for Sunday morning. But I've got all the confidence in the world in myself and mostly my team."
Criticism from fans:
"I could give a (expletive) if they watch or not. Don't watch. If you bought the Kiss album that came out before they took their makeup off and they don't like it, don't buy the (expletive) album where they take their makeup off. It's a gimmick. Don't watch. But you're still going to go complain about it on Twitter. It's none of my business what you think of me. I don't care. I think people's perception of me is that I have a huge (ego). I really don't think I do. You called me a superstar, and I don't view myself through that lens at all. At all. I get it. I did some stuff. Whatever. But when it comes to all the stuff that maybe MMA fans think matter, being on the pay-per-view, being on the poster – I'm like, whatever. If I can fight earlier, I'd like to fight earlier because I try not to train at 9 o'clock at night, and I'd be showered and elbow deep in a pizza and a pint of ice cream before y'all get in the building. So why are y'all mad?"
How he sees the fight with Jackson going:
"I see myself taking my time and getting a little comfortable. I think that was a big thing. I just kind of need to get in there for a couple seconds and bounce around and just be in the octagon for a little bit. I think last time I thought, 'Well the quicker I start, the quicker it's over.' I was kind of right. This time it's going to be a little bit different. I'm just going to take my time, make sure I'm doing a lot of the little things the right way, orient myself to where I'm at, find my coaches and make sure I can hear them. Then just take it slow. The object from that point is to have fun."