Back in professional wrestling, CM Punk is putting his MMA career behind him – at least for now.

On Tuesday, the UFC removed Punk (0-1) from its “active” online roster list and dubbed him a “former fighter.” Shortly thereafter, MMA Junkie confirmed via a person with knowledge of the change that Punk opted out of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency testing pool at the start of 2021. It is unclear whether or not the UFC still retains his rights should he decide an MMA comeback is in store.

Punk, 42, walked away from pro wrestling in 2014 as one of the most popular performers in the business. On Aug. 20, he returned for the first time in seven years and received a thunderous ovation from the AEW crowd in his hometown of Chicago.

In December 2014, Punk signed with the UFC. After nearly two years of training under Duke Roufus at Roufusport, Punk made his MMA debut at UFC 203 in September 2016. He lost to Mickey Gall by first-round submission.

In June 2019, Punk returned to the cage and faced Mike “The Truth” Jackson at UFC 225. He lost a unanimous decision. However, the result was later overturned to a no contest after Jackson tested positive for marijuana.

While Punk never officially announced his retirement from MMA, neither he nor UFC president Dana White indicated a third fight would be in the cards. Punk remained in the USADA testing pool through the end of 2020.

Punk has served as a color commentator for Cage Fury Fighting Championship, which streams its events on UFC Fight Pass, since late 2018 – a gig he plans to continue even as an AEW wrestler.


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