CM Punk lasted just over two minutes in his UFC debut back in September against Mickey Gall, but he could be handed a second chance with the company.
Many expected the UFC to cut ties with the former World Wrestling Entertainment superstar following his disastrous debut at UFC203. The 38-year-old was quickly taken down and forced to tap via rear-naked choke, as Punk was outclassed by his younger opponent in Gall.
Gall has moved on to a showpiece fight this weekend with fellow rising star Sage Northcutt, and Punk's time with the organisation was expected to have run its course.
Many MMA fans felt a novice fighter like Punk should never have been allowed to compete in the UFC in the first place.
But Punk's trainer Duke Roufus recently confirmed that his fighter has been in discussions with UFC president Dana White about a return.
"Definitely. I believe he and Dana are talking," Roufus told MMA Fighting. "I just talked to Punk on Monday and things are looking hopeful. I can't say yes or no, but they're looking hopeful.
"We're going to see. Dana's always got a good recipe of what he's going to create and what's best for the sport, and what's best for Punk and everyone else."
Having seen fellow WWE wrestler Brock Lesnar make a successful transition to the sport, capturing the UFC Heavyweight title, it was hoped Punk could make a similar impression. But Lesnar was a former NCAA college wrestling champion, who had spent time on an NFL training squad.
CM Punk had no previous mixed martial arts training, nor any previous fighting experience.
It's thought the new UFC's new owners, entertainment group, WME-IMG are embracing a more entertainment focused business model, which Punk would fit into.
Punk, like Lesnar, brings a large global fan base with him to the UFC and it may be that alone that gifts him a second opportunity in the cage. The UFC203 pay-per-view that Punk featured on did the companies highest amount of sales for an event not including megastar Conor McGregor.
It ranged between 425,000-475,000 buys, far exceeding expectations, and Punk's involvement could have generated around $3-6 million for the company.
The MMA rookie was paid $500,000 for his UFC203 appearance, which some considered too high, but the sales figures show the UFC more than made up for their investment.
Roufus believes in Punk, who returned to training just a day after his defeat at UFC203. His trainer is fully supportive of an ongoing UFC relationship, saying Punk will continue to improve if given the opportunity.
"He's going to get better. Obviously, he didn't perform the way we wanted to perform. We had some things he was doing really well with," Roufus explained.
"It's just going to take time. But the great thing is he has an incredible attitude, and he's very thankful for the opportunities. He's getting better, he's back in training and right after this fight I'll be picking up big time with him."
Punk could even have a ready-made opponent for his return in UFC debutant Emil Meek.
The Norwegian 'Viking Warrior' signalled his UFC arrival with a strong performance against Jordan Mein at UFC206 on Sunday. Post-fight Meek was sizing up his next opponent, and Punk was just one of the names he chose to call out.
"Give me a top ten guy, or maybe Mickey Gall or Sage Northcutt, or if CM Punk is still alive, I would love to fight one of those," Meek said.