CM Punk to delay UFC debut to have back surgery

Former WWE star CM Punk will not make his UFC debut this summer, as the 37-year-old is scheduled to undergo back surgery this week.

According to MMAFighting.com, CM Punk, whose birth name is Phil Brooks, has been suffering from a back injury he believes is related to his long professional wrestling career.

CM Punk (0-0) was in Las Vegas last weekend to see UFC newcomer Mickey Gall (2-0) pick up a first-round win. The two were expected to square off in June, but CM Punk will now require more time. He told MMAFighting he still intends to make an appearance in 2016.

"My back has always bugged me," CM Punk stated. "Figured it was just wrestling s---. Turns out it was.

"It got bad enough to the point where I couldn't do anything the week before I went to train with the New Jersey Devils last month. One day I could manage, the next day I couldn't. I've been in agony for almost a month. Chiropractor, acupuncture, massage, cryotherapy -- nothing worked."

This is the second injury setback for CM Punk, who last fall missed several months of training at Roufusport MMA in Milwaukee with a shoulder injury.

CM Punk signed with UFC in December 2014, despite no background in martial arts. The UFC found him a potential opponent in Gall late last year, when UFC president Dana White attended the 24-year-old's professional debut in Philadelphia. Gall has predicted he will finish Punk in one round.