Mickey Gall has the winning lottery ticket. How else does a mixed martial artist with a 2-0 record get catapulted into a UFC PPV main card slot? The signing of former wrestling star CM Punk has handed him a golden opportunity this Saturday at UFC 203 in Cleveland, Ohio, to make his name on a global scale.
A lot has been made of CM Punk’s apparent lack of skills during the various segments on ‘The Evolution of Punk’, a documentary showcasing the journey the former professional wrestler has been on over the past 18 months. And similarly Gall has watched the series and doesn’t see anything from Punk that poses a threat.
“I’m not particularly impressed, just different things, the way he moves,” said Gall. “I’m sure he’s improved tremendously since that footage (on Fox Sports 1 and now available to view through FO’s video player) but I know when he gets to the fight, we get into (it), those bad habits tend to come out and I know I’ll be able to expose those.”
The event hasn’t quite hit the hype levels of say UFC 202 last month and maybe that’s got to do with the almost two-year wait for Punk to make his debut since the initial announcement back in December 2014. Yet Gall thinks otherwise and believes the build up has fans pumped up.
“Bottom line is we’re going to fight,” said Gall. “I think a lot of people are very excited for this, but everything I’m seeing, we’re not going to put on and pretend to hate each other. There’s an appropriate amount of build up. People are excited and I know we both are.”
New Jersey has a history of producing UFC championship level fighters such as Matt Sera and more recently Frankie Edgar. Gall thinks it comes from a preconception that Jersey guys know how to fight.
“I’m always asked about why I think there’s tough guys from Jersey. I think it’s just everyone thinks they can fight so you find yourself in a couple.”