For someone who has never stepped foot inside of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Octagon, CM Punk sure is carrying a lot of momentum with him entering his debut bout against Mickey Gall later tonight (Sat., Sept. 10, 2016) live on pay-per-view (PPV) from Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. I guess that's what happens when you have millions of fans following your every move years before you even decided to make a run at cage fighting.
Still, despite Punk's ongoing maturation under head coach Duke Roufus, the entire ordeal seems like some sort of combat pageantry. People want to see Punk lose, but they really want to see him win. Fighters believe his bout opposite Gall will end quickly, while Punk's closest training partners believe everyone will be surprised by his skill set. It's like this epic tug-of-war that won't be won or lost until Punk either wins or loses (unless we're counting a hard-fought defeat as a glaring moral victory).
So when does this masterpiece of a debut go down? More than likely between the 11:00-11:30 p.m. ET mark of the PPV card.
With Urijah Faber vs. Jimmie Rivera and Jessica Andrade vs. Joanne Calderwood set to take form prior to Punk vs. Gall, fight fans may have to wait until the latter end of that time frame to see the former WWE champion unleash his finishing move. After all, Faber, Rivera and Calderwood have only been finished a combined total of four times throughout their mixed martial arts (MMA) careers (Andrade has been finished four times on her own accord).
Even in a spot that Gall doesn't believe he has earned, Punk will unveil his complete work of art right before current UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic defends his title against Alistair Overeem in the PPV headliner and former heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum meets Travis Browne in a co-main event rematch.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 203 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, and then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.