Fans can watch UFC 203 live online and see if former WWE star CM Punk can make a smooth transition to his new place in the UFC.
The fighter, whose real name is Phil Brooks, will be facing Mickey Gall in a welterweight bout during Saturday’s event in Cleveland. The main card is scheduled to start at 10 p.m. ET from Cleveland, with preliminary bouts kicking off at 7:30 p.m.
CM Punk has encountered quite a bit of criticism in the lead-up to UFC 203, with many saying he has not earned his way into the main event like other fighters who have put in more work. Many note that he has no real fighting background — no martial arts, no boxing, and instead just a few decades in the rough but otherwise theatrical world of professional wrestling.
That has left many concerned with how well CM Punk might be able to compete. MMA legend Dan Severn is among the critics.
“As far as I know, Punk has only been training in mixed martial arts,” Severn told Newsweek. “And there is a big difference from being in a safe environment of a training facility. It is not until you climb into that cage for the first time and you get hit for real the first time, and you have an agenda, your opponent has an agenda, and neither one of those are on the same wavelength.”
CM Punk said he can’t concern himself with their criticisms and instead is just focusing on his match.
“People either love me or hate me already – I’m not trying to talk anybody into the building on this one,” he said, via RT. “The allure is just the fact that it’s happening. The story writes itself. It’s not a fabricated thing where I need to create some drama between Mickey and me. We’re gonna fight. That’s the beauty of it.”
Gall isn’t taking the match lightly, either. Even though he made short work of Mike Jackson in a bout back in February — winning in just 45 seconds — Gall has nothing but good things to say about his inexperienced opponent at UFC 203.
“I see a lot of people that treat Punk like a joke, but I’m not making that mistake,” Gall said, via RT. “I have total respect for him and what’s he accomplished. He made himself a superstar in his field and in his sport.”
But Gall also had a prediction, saying, “I’ll beat him 100 percent.”
While CM Punk’s debut is getting much of the attention, the real headliner of the night will be the UFC Heavyweight Championship match between current champion Stipe Miocic and former Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem.
Fans who watch UFC 203 live online will see Overeem filled with confidence.
“This is the last big one — I’ve dedicated my life to achieve this goal,” Overeem said, via RT. “It’s been nonstop training, eating, sleeping, getting better as a mixed martial artist, getting better as a fighter.
Fans looking to watch UFC 203 live online will have to pay for the pay-per-view main event, but have a chance to catch some of the undercard action for free. The preliminary fights can be seen on UFC Fight Pass, which will be available for a free trial for first-time users.
After the Fight Pass portion of the undercard, the action moves to Fox Sports 1, with live streaming video available through Fox Sports GO. The app is free to download for Apple, Android, or Google devices, Amazon devices, and Windows devices.
There is still another option for fans who don’t want to watch UFC 203 live online and would prefer to watch with a few friends and some cold beverages. The UFC offers a full list of bars that will be carrying the event, so MMA fans can find one close to them and watch CM Punk make his big debut.
[Image via Instagram/UFC]