Ever since walking out of the WWE earlier this year, CM Punk has been exploring a number of different creative endeavors. He’s tried his hand at hosting the AP Music Awards, creating content with The Nerdist, and writing his very first comic book with Marvel Comics by contributing to ‘Thor Annual’ #1 in February. However, the former WWE Superstar recently added another new venture to his schedule as he announced at UFC 181 that he had signed on to fight in the Octagon at some point in 2015.
While his addition to the popular MMA promotion was met with a mixed reaction from fans, many fighters were equally torn. Some panned the decision, but others welcomed him with open arms. But whether they were for or against Punk’s participation, the Second City Saint received challenges from all corners of the mixed martial arts world. But one challenger in particular stood out, though not because he, too, is considered a rookie in that world as well. This challenger is unique because he’s a Power Ranger.
As soon as the Best In The World made his presence known in Ultimate Fighting Championship, challenges came from accomplished fighters such as Elias Theodorou, Phil Baroni, Cathal Pendred, and Michael Bisbing. But the most interesting challenge had to come from ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ star Jason David Frank, who has also offered to face Punk in his UFC debut. However, this isn’t actually the first time that the actor famous for his portrayal of the Green Ranger issued a challenge to the longest reigning WWE Champion of the modern era. In an interview with Fox Sports, Frank’s manager Brian Butler explains that it all started with Wizard World Comic Con:
“Jason’s actually been kind of toying with the idea of fighting CM Punk for over a year now. They toured together on the Wizard World conventions and they were doing appearances together and the fans were kind of talking about it and it got some buzz about a year ago. It never really died down, but with the announcement last [week] it flared back up.”
You might be wondering why JDF is even taking part in this conversation. Well, the actor has actually dabbled in MMA before. Though he hasn’t fought professionally yet, his amateur record stands at 4-0, which happens to best Punk’s 0-0 record. Not only that, but Frank is a life-long martial artist with his own fighting discipline whereas Punk has only trained as a professional wrestler while studying kempo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Even though I’m a huge fan of CM Punk, it’s pretty clear that the UFC is looking to get publicity out of this signing, similar to when they signed YouTube fighting sensation Kimbo Slice. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not faulting Punk for wanting to get into the Octagon. In fact, I have so much respect for him because he wants to do it and do it right, but his celebrity status has certainly granted him the opportunity to start fighting at the top, which is something that happened with his comic book writing career as well. But if it’s publicity that the organization wants, then having Punk vs. Frank in 2015 would be the move to make. Both men have legions of fans from their respective areas of entertainment, are extremely committed to the sport, and they’re technically at the same skill level so it would be “even.”
At the end of the day, there’s a pretty good case to be made for CM Punk vs. Jason David Frank in the UFC, but to sum things up as “comic book writer vs. Power Ranger” is still a fun way to look at it regardless of if it happens or not.