Earlier this week, UFC contender Mickey Gall confirmed that he will be fighting CM Punk as planned when he tweeted, “4 every1 askin I hear Punk [CM Punk] and I r fighting late summer. I don’t have an official date. If I did I would tell ya. But we r for sure fighting.”
On December 6, 2014, at UFC 181, it was announced that CM Punk, a former three-time WWE heavyweight champion, signed a multi-fight contract with the UFC. Since that announcement, fans of both the WWE and UFC have been anxiously awaiting Punk’s debut.
The initial plans for Punk’s debut in the octagon were derailed in February when he underwent back surgery because of a herniated disc. In March, CM Punk was interviewed by Ariel Helwani, and the straight-edge superstar gave an update on how the surgery went.
“It went very well. I woke up in the hospital and was immediately pain free, I could tell right away.”
He later confirmed that he would indeed fight this year.
“I’ve learned from my past mistakes and I’m not going to say a date that everyone’s gonna get married to, and then I’m going to have to hear about how I’m never going to fight. I’m going to fight. It’s going to be this year. And like I said, I see the doctor tomorrow, and I’m going to talk with him about all kinds of other extracurricular things I can do to probably speed this along…see if I can start doing acupuncture again, things like that. In my mind, that card at the Garden (possibly in November) would be a nice second fight, but I don’t know how realistic that is, because again, I don’t want to say things that people are going to be taking to heart…Don’t worry haters, I’m going to fight, it’s going to be f*****g fun and awesome, and you’re going to be real upset…”
On the day of Punk’s surgery, Mickey Gall tweeted, “Guys. It’s all good. The fight is still on. Minor surgery. I wish @CMPunk a healthy & speedy recovery. I want you at 100%, check that, #200.”
Despite numerous interviews with Punk stating that he would fight at least one time this year and Gall confirming the fight through interviews and tweets, many unfounded rumors began on how fans would never see a CM Punk fight in the UFC. Further rumors ensued that Punk may head back to the WWE despite the fact that he has stated on several occasions that he would never wrestle for them again. With Gall’s latest tweet, perhaps these rumors will subside.
Guys. It’s all good. The fight is still on. Minor surgery. I wish @CMPunk a healthy & speedy recovery. I want you at 100%, check that, #200
— Mickey Gall (@mickeygall) February 10, 2016
One thing is for certain: The pressure is going to be on Punk in his UFC debut. By the time Gall and Punk meet in the octagon, it will have been almost two years since Punk signed his UFC contract, building up his already anticipated debut. Many think the 15-year professional wrestling veteran is simply too old at the age of 37 and that his body has gone through too much damage to begin an MMA career. Other’s doubt if Punk will be able to transition to a sport that isn’t predetermined.
In an interview on The Great MMA Debate podcast, as reported by MMA Junkie, UFC Fighter Matt Brown had this to say about CM Punk.
“This guy, he ain’t no fighter, man. Like I said before, let’s say he does go fight. People don’t understand what it’s like sitting in that locker room for two to three hours knowing this guy right down the hall is going to try to [expletive] murder you. You’re in front of millions of people and your friends and family, that feeling in indescribable. The nerves – a lot of people call it fear. That feeling is not to be envied.”
With CM Punk being an MMA rookie, Mickey Gall may be the perfect matchup for his debut fight. Mickey Gall has a professional MMA record of 2-0; his second fight was his UFC debut, which earned him the right to fight CM Punk. Gall, 24, started training for MMA at the age of 19. Although Gall has been training for MMA longer than Punk, Punk has been involved in combat sports most of his life. Prior to his stellar wrestling career, he studied kickboxing and karate extensively.
— Mickey Gall (@mickeygall) April 11, 2016
Mickey is confident going up against Punk, and in the UFC Fight Night 82 post-fight press conference, he said, “It’ll be a first-round finish.”
CM Punk has responded to the doubters many times, including at a UFC fan Q&A session, where the superstar said, “When I step into the octagon, everyone is going to underestimate me. They don’t know how hard I work. I really think I’m one of the hardest working guys in the room. That’s what I have going for me.”
Regardless of who will win this much-anticipated fight or when it will take place, one thing is for certain: The fight will happen.
[Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images]