[bing_translator]Las Vegas– For Phil Brooks, the former World Wrestling Entertainment Heavyweight Champion known as CM Punk, Saturday was a coming out Party of sorts at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Brooks shocked wrestling fans, and Mixed Martial Arts fans around the world, as he was introduced by Ultimate Fighting Championship commentator Joe Rogan during the opening introductions of the UFC 181 Pay-Per-View on Saturday night.
Brooks, the longest reigning World Champion in the last decade, has put any remaining question unanswered on The Art of Wrestling with Colt Cabana podcast to bed by announcing he has signed a contract to compete in the UFC. Brooks is set to make his Octagon debut in 2015. The announcement comes a week after he had very critical words towards WWE Chairman Vincent K. McMahon and Executive Vice President of Talent and Events Paul “Triple H” Levesque.
Brooks, who has background in Kempo fighting and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, will debut as in either the middleweight (170 lbs) or welterweight (180 lbs) in 2015. Brooks is the second WWE Champion to fight in the Octagon, former UFC Heavyweight Champion and current WWE Champion Brock Lesnar dominated the UFC in from 2008-2011. The move to UFC for Brooks could give UFC President Dana White leverage to convince Lesnar to make an Octagon return in 2015. White has made it public his interest in the former UFC Heavyweight Champion.
Brooks left WWE due to a list of injuries and a grueling travel schedule. Brooks stated in Cabana’s podcast that WWE representatives sent Brooks termination papers on the day he got married to current WWE Diva A.J. Lee, who was also in attendance at Mandalay Bay. This was the first time we have seen Phil Brooks on a live broadcast of any kind since the WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view in January.
This was a return to the Spotlight for the Artist formerly known as CM Punk. Who has taken heat by fans, twitter followers, the internet wrestling community, and by fellow wrestlers as he walked out of WWE the day after the Royal Rumble pay-per-view after refusing to take a concussion test per WWE Doctors. Brooks waited until Saturday night to announce his next move as he has spent almost the entire 2014 recovering from various injuries while getting married.
He claims to be as happy as he as ever been and is ready to take on his next career challenge. One in which he will be in the spotlight for the UFC and bring a brand new fan base to UFC like Lesnar did when he made his debut against former Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir. Lesnar lost the contest in the first round, but would become the Champion after beating Randy Couture.
For Brooks, the UFC will bring a stiff test to his abilities as a fighter. He is fighting to see where he stands with the very best fighters in the world. For White, he believes Brooks can bring the UFC to new heights financially and in terms of the overall popularity of the promotion. After nearly 11 months away from the wrestling world, Philip Brooks will now back in the spotlight. Can he hang with the best fighters in the world? We will see in 2015.