After becoming disgruntled in WWE, CM Punk retired from professional wrestling in 2014. He pursued a career in mixed martial arts and was signed by the UFC in December of that year. His first professional fight took place on September 10, 2016, at UFC 203 against Mickey Gall, where he was defeated via submission in the first round.
He lost his second bout to Mike Jackson via unanimous decision on June 9, 2018, at UFC 225. Later that year, he began commentating for CFFC, appearing at CFFC 71 on December 14. Brooks used the CM Punk moniker his entire career, and consistently portrayed the character of an outspoken, sharp-tongued, anti-establishment, straight edge iconoclast.
Most of the straight edge principles he portrayed, such as not drinking alcohol or not taking recreational drugs, are his real life views. Depending on his alignment as a hero or villain, he emphasized different aspects of the straight edge culture to garner the desired audience reaction.
By winning WWE's World Tag Team Championship (with Kofi Kingston) and Intercontinental Championship, he became WWE's 19th Triple Crown Champion and the fastest to achieve this feat, in 203 days. He was voted WWE Superstar of the Year at the 2011 Slammy Awards, and Wrestler of the Year in 2011 and 2012 by readers of Pro Wrestling Illustrated.
Speaking on the latest edition of Collider Live, Punk explained why there won’t be a union in wrestling: “No. No, that’s why I kind of — my stance on when people are like, ‘The boys, the boys, the boys.’ There’s no such thing.
There’s absolutely no such thing, and if you think there is, then chances are you’re on a different level, and I don’t mean a higher one. And I don’t mean any disrespect. It’s just that where I was at that time, it’s insane how it’s not a real sport, but it’s more cutthroat than a real sport”.