In all honesty, the UFC did things right with UFC 225 this weekend and CM Punk.
How do you get the casual fan to care about a former pro wrestling superstar with a record in MMA of 0-1?
Throw him in the opening main card bout live on pay-per-view with a lineup that includes two title fights and two other bouts with former champions involved.
Saturday’s event from the United Center in Chicago is far from the CM Punk Show. But, for a generation that tends to follow both combat sports and professional wrestling, the itch to buy a PPV with Punk featured is key for the UFC.
Robert Whittaker can make a big-time statement as one of the top fighters in MMA with a successful defense of his middleweight crown vs. Yoel Romero in the main event.
Whoever emerges from the co-main between former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos and Colby Covington for the interim welterweight title will be a strong adversary for reigning champion Tyron Woodley.
Holly Holm, a former UFC female bantamweight champion and featherweight title challenger, welcomes ex-Invicta FC champion Megan Anderson to the Octagon. And former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski looks to tame Tai Tuivasa.
But Punk is making headlines.
He’s been talked about all week due to a civil case he has been fighting in court while preparing for his second appearance inside the cage. He’ll meet fellow 0-1 fighter Mike Jackson in a welterweight clash.
Has the former WWE champion made enough improvements under the careful eye of Duke Roufus to be a legit fighter?
Do you even care?