CM Punk has done a great job isolating himself from critics since announcing his UFC contract. Unfortunately for Punk the softballs came to an end when he went Off the Record and it didn’t take long for things to get ugly.
Michael Landsberg has had his share of verbal confrontations over the years and has never been known to shy away from tough questions or avoid the yellow elephants in the room. Which is why I am surprised that Punk wasn’t more prepared for the verbal joust that took place last week on Off the Record.
Landsberg asked Punk if he had ever been punched. Punk laughed and said he had been punched many times in a WWE ring. What a dumb answer. Here is a guy that is upset he isn’t being taken seriously as a UFC fighter yet he gives an answer which makes him look completely foolish.
This isn’t the first time Punk has helped fuel doubters and critics with his answers. It is amazing to me that someone as polished as Punk in media has been so unprepared to answer tough questions about his move to UFC. I don’t understand how someone from the UFC hasn’t sat down with him yet and crafted more well thought answers than some of the responses Punk has offered. Quite frankly it makes the UFC look more like a circus or mockery than Punk.
What is also interesting at this point is that Punk starts drinking coffee throughout the interview. I found it odd and a little unprofessional at the time but so be it. I saw it as Punk giving the interviewer a middle finger. At the end of the interview Landsberg brings that up and Punk says he needed to drink it to keep himself awake.
Punk is then asked about comments Dana White has made about Punk being offered an opponent at his own level. Punk says he’d fight anyone, including Anderson Silva for the right price. Punk says that he doesn’t want to take it easy and wants to put the “miles in.” He also says it probably wouldn’t be a good decision to fight someone like a Nate Diaz at this point in his career.
The interview progresses and it doesn’t take a psychologist to read Punk’s body language and assess his descending attitude throughout the interview. I will say that Landsberg appears to have picked up on it early and egged him on a bit as the interview progressed. Landsberg at the end of the interview finally calls Punk out on it and asks him if he was uncomfortable with the interview. Guess what? He was.
Punk says that the interview was very wrestling centric and he was there to talk about the UFC. Okay that may be well and good but it was Punk that first brought up wrestling when Landsberg asked him if he has ever taken a punch. Landsberg said nothing about the WWE up to that point. Even at the halfway mark there was only one question that Landsberg asked about the WWE and it was in comparison to UFC.
Again, Punk is in desperate need of a media coach. It is in the best interest of the UFC to do that immediately. Punk is in for a reality check if he thinks that everyone in the sports media is going to treat this thing seriously. It is what it is and what this interview told me is that the criticism is starting to get to him. The more he feeds the critics, the more they will come to feast.