Jim Ross spoke recently spoke with MMAjunkie about CM Punk’s fight with Mickey Gall this weekend at UFC 203. Below are the highlights:
“I don’t want to say it was a publicity stunt, because that would be inaccurate, but I thought it had a lot of publicity stunt elements to it,” Ross said. “You sign a guy, based on his being a major fan of the genre of MMA and being an amateur practitioner of Muay Thai, being a student of the game, no doubt about that. But, also being 37 years old and never having a fight. So why would they sign him to a three-fight deal, as I recall? Because he brings a great marketing opportunity with him because he has name identity. He’s attitudinal and a unique entity.”
“I think the signing was to create a buzz and if you get something out of him, it’s a bonus. What they’re going to get out of him this week is additional pay-per-view buys they may not have received if Punk was not on the card because we’re talking about him. A lot of people are talking about him. I’ve done a ton of media in the last 10 days, as much as I have for any UFC event, because CM Punk is on the card. For the fighters and those that say Punk took a spot from one of the regular fighters away, I say I don’t think you’re going to get the guys on the card getting a piece of the pay-per-view to agree with that. They’re going to be happy he’s bringing more eyeballs to the TV.”
“I don’t think he wins. I hope it does. Four-ounce gloves are a difference maker for a lot of people. I think he’ll have a decent showing, I really do. But I know why he’s signed and he’s going to help the fight be more financially successful. Maybe not artistically successful, but financially. As we know, the bottom line is the money.”
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