When Phil "CM Punk" Brooks said that he didn't want anything to do with wrestling, he apparently meant it.
That's because the former WWE Champion has agreed to a deal to become a fighter in the UFC. He made the announcement during the broadcast of UFC 181.
The ex-WWE superstar is expected to make his debut in the octagon in 2015. The weight class Brooks will compete has yet to be determined. He said that he will most likely join the middleweight division, but there is a possibility of him becoming a welterweight.
"My professional wrestling days are over, it's awesome to be here," Brooks said. "This is something I've wanted to do for a long time."
During his time in the WWE, Brooks, 36, practiced Brazilian jiu-jitsu and has even trained with black belt Rener Gracie. Brooks would make his love of Brazilian jiu-jitsu known by wearing Gracie hoodies to the ring for some of his matches.
"I have a background in kempo and I've been doing Braziian jiu-jitsu for a long time," Brooks said. "This is my new career, 100 percent. I'm going to go full steam ahead, all systems go after today, and it's going to be fun. I have nothing but respect for everybody here at the UFC, everybody who steps into the octagon to fight. And when it's all said and done, when I'm finished, everybody's going to have to respect me because I have come here to fight."
A professional wrestler jumping into the world of mixed martial arts is far from new. The most notable wrestler to make the jump was current WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar, who attained the UFC Heavyweight Championship, and was the top draw for two the highest-selling pay-per-views in the promotion's history.
Other wrestlers include Ken Shamrock, Josh Barnett, Batista and Bobby Lashley.
"I felt like it was now or never," Brooks said. "I have a limited window most fighters don't have. I'm either here to win or get my ass kicked."