It's been well more than one year since CM Punk (0-0) announced his transition from World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and several months since his debut match against Mickey Gall (2-0) was revealed. Recently, a date and time for their showdown was revealed, too, as Punk and Gall will finally square off at UFC 203 on Sept. 10, 2016.
Gall, 24, had to wait for Punk to heal up from surgery from an injury the former WWE champion sustained during training back in February. With Punk on the mend, the two will finally throw down in Cleveland in a little more than two months.
The New Jersey native, who earned a shot against Punk by defeating Mike Jackson in his Octagon debut at UFC Fight Night 82, was a guest on SiriusXM Fight Club on Tuesday (June 28, 2016) and was asked if he feels any extra pressure since he's taking on a 37-year-old newcomer in Punk.
Gall views himself as a representative of the sport come UFC 203.
"I will look like an asshole if I get beat by CM Punk," Gall told hosts RJ Clifford and Steve Cofield. "People are treating him like a joke. I'm taking it very seriously. I want people to look at like I'm representing real MMA fighters, guys who grinded, guys who had to work shit jobs to be able to make a little money around their training schedule. I hope people look at it as I'm representing MMA. I plan to back that up."
Punk, who was known for his abilities as a trash talker and and excellent self-promoter in the WWE, has been the exact opposite since signing with the promotion. He's been nothing but respectful, putting in the time at Roufusport Gym in Milwaukee, Wis., under the tutelage of Duke Roufus.
Fight Club co-host RJ Clifford suggested that Punk is a bit scared of Gall and that is the reason he has been quiet as far as trash talk is concerned. The Miller Brothers-trained fighter didn't quite agree with that assessment, but he did say a beating is headed Punk's way regardless if he is silent or chooses to talk trash.
"A whooping is coming whether he talks shit or not," Gall replied. "I don't' know. I'm really familiar with him as a wrestler. I did hear he was a big personality and a big talker. I don't know. I'm not sure. I'm not very familiar with him so it's hard to get inside his head, but you know we are going to fight no matter what. I think … I get why they brought him over. I can see why people are disgruntled about it. There is money to be made with him. There is a lot of money to be made with him. There is a lot of eyes that he'll bring. He will say pay-per-views. He will make money. I totally understand that. I think it's a smart business move. And from what I've seen this guy is actually trying to be a fighter. Sure, he's a professional wrestler, but I think he's trying. I definitely think he is trying."
Punk will, indeed, make a lot of money, but so too will Gall if he can "represent MMA" in Cleveland on fight night.