UFC signs pro wrestler CM Punk for 2015 MMA debut

Dec 6, 2014 10:18 PM

LAS VEGAS (AP) - The UFC has signed professional wrestler C.M. Punk, and he intends to make his mixed martial arts debut in 2015.

President Dana White announced the deal during the UFC 181 pay-per-view show Saturday night.

Punk's real name is Phil Brooks, and he is a 36-year-old career pro wrestler from Chicago.

Brooks performed in the WWE from 2011 until early this year, when he left the company.

The UFC realizes the publicity value of signing pro wrestlers with a modicum of MMA skills. Famed pro wrestler Brock Lesnar became the UFC's biggest pay-per-view star when he entered the promotion in 2008.

He defeated Randy Couture and held the UFC's heavyweight championship for nearly two years. After two losses, he returned to pro wrestling in 2012.

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