It's been so long since WWE superstar CM Punk announced his contract with UFC that even Khabib Nurmagomedov has raised a Dagestani eyebrow.
However, despite the fact the would-be mixed martial artist (MMA) has yet to debut 14 months later, the pro wrestler says he's getting close. That is, if Mickey Gall wins tomorrow night (Sat., Feb. 6, 2016) at UFC Fight Night 82.
"The light at the end of the tunnel is a fantastic way to describe it," said Punk. "This is the reason I'm doing it and I can see that light and I'm excited to get there."
In a bizarre announced matchmaking by UFC, if 1-0 fighter Mickey Gall can defeat 30-year-old Mike Jackson, who is making his MMA debut, then he'll win the Punk sweepstakes. If he loses, however, Jackson doesn't get the shot.
Regardless of who he fights, everybody wants a piece of Punk. He's been called out by numerous fighters in the past year and a bit, including now-retired ones.
"What can I say? I'm the prettiest girl at the prom," he said, before getting serious. "To me Mickey Gall is the means to an end, you know? I gotta fight somebody. He's humble, he's respectful and he's smart. He called me out when he knew he had Dana's [White] ear."
Gall is yet another of UFC president Dana White's pet projects in his "looking for a fight" reality show, which has already discovered stars like Sage Northcutt and Randy Brown.
Punk, whose real name is Phil Brooks, will be watching Gall's footwork and his striking tomorrow night, and see if he can dictate a pace and control where the fight goes.
"I think you can be the best striker, the best wrestler, you can be a black belt in Jiu Jitsu and everything like that but if you don't have a pace and kind of force your will upon somebody I think you can lose a fight, especially if it goes to the judges."
Punk says once he gets an opponent it will "laser" his focus, adding he feels like he's been in training camp for a year and a half now (which is more or less true).
MMA fans have impatiently waited for his debut, some of them mocking his slow approach. After all, fellow WWE star Brock Lesnar jumped into the deep end of the pool by taking on former UFC champion Frank Mir in his debut fight with the organization.
But Punk has taken a philosophical approach to the waiting game, saying it's more about the journey than the destination (isn't that a car advert?). And although he wants to win "in front of millions of people" he's also at peace with whatever happens.
"I don't plan on getting my ass kicked. But I do realize that is a real possibility."