The UFC’s decision to sign former WWE champion CM Punk back in 2014 was met with much criticism from fighters at the time. While Conor McGregor said he didn’t have a problem with it, he also added that he found the situation weird and called Punk a “man afraid.” Others, like Lorenz Larkin and Dominick Cruz, took it a step further by saying he isn’t a real fighter and labelled him “an up-and-comer with crazy tattoos.”
Nate Diaz was very much a part of that second group. Beyond making it clear that he didn’t “dig” the UFC’s decision to sign an unproven Punk, Diaz said “fuck him, fuck the whole situation” when talking about him being an amateur going up against pros. However, it sounds like Diaz has since had a change of heart, because he apparently approached Punk at UFC 200 with the sole intention of apologizing for what he said in the past.
“I was doing an autograph signing [at UFC 200] and the guy I was signing the autograph for started like pointing behind me and I heard someone like yelling my name and I turned around and I was on a riser and Nate Diaz was on the ground and he was like ‘Hey man come here,'” Punk told FOX Sports. “I was like ‘What’s up?’ and he was the nicest (expletive) guy.”
“I don’t know if he’ll get mad and this will ruin the image of Nate Diaz, but he was like ‘Hey man, I talked some (expletive) before and I don’t know you and I’m sorry’ and he’s like, ‘Gilbert (Melendez) and Ronda (Rousey) said that you’re a cool dude and they love you’ and I started looking around for the cameras. I was like alright. I thought that was super, super cool of him. Super nice guy.”
After a number of setbacks – including surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back earlier this year – Punk is slated to make his long-awaited UFC debut at UFC 203 next month against Mickey Gall. He doesn’t expect the fight to be a one-and-done, either, so we’ll soon find out what he’s all about.