The evolution of CM Punk from professional wrestler to mixed martial arts fighter was completed at UFC 203 on Saturday night, but Punk was never really competitive in his UFC debut.
Mickey Gall immediately took Punk down. He started hitting Punk with shots and looked to get a choke. Punk valiantly avoided being finished for a bit, but Gall locked in a rear naked choke and Punk was forced to tap out just minutes into the first round.
In the post-fight interview, an emotional Punk said that in life you go big or you go home. He said the loss doesn't mean that he's going to quit or he's going to stop. He vowed to fight again, and called it the second best night of his life behind marrying his wife.
After getting the win, Gall called out Sage Northcutt for his next fight.
Punk's transition from the squared circle to the Octagon was a bumpy one, and many questioned whether this night would ever come. After leaving WWE in January of 2014, Punk announced later that year on the UFC 181 pay-per-view broadcast that he had signed with the UFC and would begin training for his debut.
Shortly after, Punk started training at Roufusport in Milwaukee, WI. But the road to his UFC debut was longer than expected. Punk suffered a shoulder injury in training in 2015 that delayed his progress. And just days after Gall defeated Mike Jackson at UFC Fight Night 82 to earn the spot as Punk's opponent in his debut fight, Punk announced that he would have to undergo surgery for a herniated disc in his back.