n 2014, former WWE superstar CM Punk announced that he wanted to fight in the UFC. On Saturday at UFC 203: Miocic vs Overeem in Cleveland, Ohio, it’s finally happening.
His opponent, Mickey Gall, is a brown belt in BJJ under David Adiv, 2-0 as an amateur, and won his pro debut vs. Ron Templeton at Dead Serious MMA 17 via first-round submission. Gall trains at Miller Brothers MMA, Gracie New Jersey Jiu-Jitsu Academy, and American Top Team Allentown. He’s a real fighter.
He’s a real fighter.
Punk was a long-time white belt student at the Gracie Academy in Torrance, CA, and has been a major fan of mixed martial arts for years. However, he has no competitive background in any combat sport, beyond a green belt in Kenpo karate when he was a kid.
Despite the fact that he has been training with the incredible Duke Roufus, Punk is 37, and few give him much of the chance. The only real question most fans have had is why did the UFC give him a real fighter for an opponent? Why not find another 37-year-old with a green belt in Kenpo?
“I know what my expectations are,’” said Punk. “I know what my team and my coach – what they expect out of me. I think it depends on what corner of the media or the Internet you look at to see what the expectations are. People expect me to get knocked out. People expect me to get starched in 30 seconds. The people who see me work here every day expect me to win.”
“My expectations are to win – go out there, whether it goes three rounds, whether it goes three seconds, that’s what I expect,” he said. “I expect to show up in the best shape of my life, happiest I’ve ever been, and happy looking in the mirror before the fight knowing: ‘Job well done.’”
“This will be miscontrued as a quote if you’re just reading it, but I very much have a ‘I can’t wait till it’s over feeling. I want to get it over with because I’m ready – I feel ready. Being here every day for five hours a day has made me feel that way. It feels nice, like a relief. There’s a calm – I’m excited, a little bit of nervous energy. But it’s all positive.”
How positive it all really is will be found out on Saturday night.