Sometimes the stars align and a person finds himself in the right place at the right time. New Jersey’s Mickey Gall made his professional mixed martial arts debut in November. As soon as he realized UFC president Dana White was going to be in attendance, he launched a plan.
All he had to do was defeat Ron Templeton at Dead Serious 17 in Philadelphia for things to fall into place. He submitted Templeton in the opening round via rear-naked choke and called out former WWE superstar CM Punk, who had been signed by the organization in December 2014, but didn’t have an opponent lined up for his MMA and UFC debut.
White was there filming an episode of Dana White Lookin’ for a Fight and was impressed by the 24-year-old’s win and ability to recognize an opportunity. He signed Gall to a UFC contract and promised him the fight against Punk if he won his UFC debut against Mike Jackson. Gall put Jackson away with a rear-naked choke after hurting him with a punch just 45 seconds into the fight.
“I’m not particularly impressed, just different things, the way he moves. I’m sure he’s improved tremendously since that footage (in The Evolution of Punk documentary), 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.
“Bottom line is, we’re going to fight. 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. I think people are excited and I know we both are.”
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