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December 6, 2014

CM Punk joins UFC, will fight in 2015

The UFC has signed former WWE professional wrestler CM Punk to fight in the Octagon.

The promotion announced the signing during its UFC 181 pay-per-view broadcast on Saturday. CM Punk, birth name Phil Brooks, has never fought professional mixed martial arts.

FC president Dana White said CM Punk intends to fight at middleweight -- 185 pounds -- but said he'd be open to possibly 170 pounds.

The UFC took to Twitter to announce CM Punk is expected to make his Octagon debut in 2015.

"He wanted to fight here," White told ESPN.com. "He wanted to give it a shot so we gave him an opportunity. It's not like Brock Lesnar. We're not going to throw the kitchen sink at him. Lesnar had a wrestling background. He's going to fight a guy who is 1-0, 1-1, 2-1 -- something like that."

White said Brooks has been training jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts for an extended period of time.

"He's been coming to fights for a long time and after his WWE contract was up, he called me and said he wanted to give it a shot. I said, 'Alright. We'll give you a shot.' "

"My professional wrestling days are over, it's awesome to be here," CM Punk said in a statement. "This is something I've wanted to do for a long time."

At 36, CM Punk acknowledges that time is not on his side.

"I felt like it was now or never," he said. "I have a limited window most fighters don't have. I'm either here to win or get my ass kicked."

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