Conor McGregor’s insults of WWE performers didn’t go over too well in the world of pro wrestling. If the many, many responses on social media didn’t prove that, CM Punk confirmed it this week on a UFC 203 media conference call.
“A lot of feelings were hurt, though, I can tell you that much, which I thought was a little strange,” Punk said. “You’ve gotta leave the emotion out of it. These guys still don’t know.”
Punk, 37, is a former WWE champion and was one of the biggest stars in the company before retiring in 2014. Later that year, he signed with the UFC despite not having any significant previous combat sports or martial arts experience. Punk will make his UFC and MMA debut when he takes on prospect Mickey Gall at UFC 203 on Sept. 10 in Cleveland.
McGregor was not commenting on Punk, whose real name is Phil Brooks, when he took multiple shots at WWE stars recently. On a conference call before UFC 202, McGregor referred to those sports entertainment performers as “messed up p*ssies.” When a bevy of them responded on Twitter, including legend Ric Flair, that only fueled McGregor’s fire.
“I don’t know what to say to Ric Flair,” McGregor said at his pre-UFC 202 media day in Las Vegas. “This ain’t no gimmick. This is the real sh*t. I’ve gotta get in and fight a man for real. With no script, with no nothing. He was talking about bringing some other wrestler guys out to challenge me. Come bring it, then. This is the real shit over here. You know want to come over, we can fight no problem. A few of them are talking about the street and all. If they want to do that, come at me and see what happens.”
“The Notorious” blasted WWE headliner John Cena, arguably the most popular man in that world, in particular.
“What’s the main guy? John Cena,” the UFC featherweight champion said. “He’s 40. He’s 40 years of age. He’s walking around in a luminous orange t-shirt and a headband talking about nobody can see him. We can see him right there. He’s a big fat, 40-year-old failed Mr. Olympia mother f*cker.”
Punk was asked what he thought of McGregor’s comments and he replied, “I don’t care.” But it’s pretty obvious others in the pro-wrestling world did, including Brock Lesnar, the former UFC heavyweight champion and current WWE standout. Lesnar said he “takes bigger sh*ts” than McGregor in an angry rant last month.
“It’s a hard thing to comment on, because the amount of people who responded to him made me feel like they were told to respond to him,” Punk said. “[McGregor is] the biggest name in sports at the moment. There’s always grey areas when you involve that whole scene and you’re wondering, is this a work, is this not a work?”