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Has CM Punk’s Debut Opponent Finally Been Revealed?


(Photo cred: Uproxx/Getty)

Had we the wherewithal to include a “Greatest Hype *De*-flation” category in this year’s Potato Awards, it would’ve been hard not to bestow the (dis)honor to WWE superstar-cum-MMA fighter Phil Brooks aka CM Punk.

After being signed by the UFC just over a year ago, Brooks has all but dropped off the face of the earth thanks to an ill-timed shoulder injury which delayed his promotional debut indefinitely. Seriously, we haven’t heard a word from the guy, which, as smart as that probably is from his perspective, has all but killed the interest level in a fighter who had relatively little to offer MMA fans to begin with (other than, you know, those massive viewership numbers we care so much about).

Recently, however, it was revealed that Brooks’ debut opponent would be discovered via Dana White’s web series, Looking For a Fight, which premieres on Youtube next week. It was easily one of the more shameful promotional moves done by the UFC in recent memory — right up there with bringing in Conor McGregor to save The Ultimate Fighter – but one that seems to have ultimately worked, as a potential opponent for Punk’s debut has now made himself known.

His name is Mickey Gall, and his professional record currently resides at an unblemished 1-0. After finding out that White would be attending his bout against Ron Templeton at Dead Serious 17 back in November as part of his online series, Gall immediately decided that Punk was his best way of getting a shot in the UFC. (via MMAFighting)

“I found out [that White and company would be in attendance] a little bit less than a month before the fight. Frankie Perez, who owns that series, called me, and I was like, ‘Dude, listen.’ I already had an opponent fall through, so I was like, ‘Oh, s–t. What is it? What?’ He goes, ‘Listen, big news. Dana White’s going to be there.’ And my heart kind of, I got excited but also nervous as heck right away. I was like, ‘Alright, man, cool.’ He said, ‘This is a big opportunity, blah, blah, blah.’

“Then he gets on the phone with me, and I’m like, ‘Oh. I’m going to call out CM Punk for sure.’ It was so obvious to me. That’s the only guy in the UFC for me right now, you know? They needed to find a light record. He couldn’t fight some 9-1 guy. So I go in there, I got a win. He’s 0-0. I’m 1-0. That’s a light record. The commission will approve that. I can fight that dude and make the most of that opportunity.”

It’s hard not to agree with the kid’s line of logic here. Aside from being right in the skill range that White has stated he was looking for, Gall also happens to train with some legitimate gyms around the country – Miller Brothers MMA (founded by UFC vets Jim Miller and Dan Miller), Gracie New Jersey Jiu-Jitsu Academy, and American Top Team Allentown  among them.

As for how he sees the fight going? Well — and you’re going to find this hard to believe — but Gall seems to be under the impression that Punk won’t like getting hit in the face very much and will inevitably wilt under the pressure of him hitting him in the face repeatedly.

“To be honest, I just think if I hit that dude in his face hard, I don’t think he’s going to react well with that,” said Gall. “I like to punch people in the face real hard. Sometimes I use my jiu-jitsu because that’s just where it happens to go, but I think I hit that dude, and he’s not going to like it. I really see myself banging with him a little bit.”

Expectedly, White has yet to commit to the idea of Gall as Punk’s debut opponent, but has admitted to being “interested” in the fight. One thing’s for sure, though: If this youngster wants to seal the deal on the biggest paycheck of his career, he’s gonna have to step his trash-talking game up beyond “I see myself banging with him.”

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