Mickey Gall remains confident about his chances to fight, and beat CM Punk
When CM Punk first signed with the UFC, a lot of MMA fans around the world thought it was just a fluke – maybe a promotional stunt.
Although there were other people who thought Punk was serious, most of them wrote him off. After all, at the tender age of 37, CM Punk is planning to make his MMA debut in the biggest organization in the world – not something you’d expect to happen in the organization which only accepts the cream of the crop.
Dana White did bring in a former WWE champion before to the UFC, but Brock Lesnar’s case was entirely different. With a pedigree in amateur wrestling, and his sheer size – similar to a mountain lion, Brock seemed to be a natural fit. Also, it was at a time when Brock just entered his 30s, and had already fought once outside the UFC.
However, with Punk, UFC has one of the biggest marketable faces in the world – an addition to the likes of Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor.
Long story short, Dana has been searching for Punk’s opponent – another beginner with not a lot of professional fights under his belt. In fact, Punk’s opponent should be someone who would also be making his professional debut, or should’ve fought just once for the athletic commission to sanction the fight - enter Mickey Gall.
The past few days have been crazy for Mickey – a 23-year-old MMA fighter who, till a couple of days ago, had no idea that his first professional fight would be watched by millions of MMA fans from around the world. “No, I’d be straight up lying if I said I thought any of this would really happen”, Mickey told us in an exclusive interview.
“When I found out that Dana White was going to be at the fight – I found out about a month before; I got a call from Frankie Perez, who owns Dead Serious MMA I fought for. Immediately I was like, “Well, I’m going to call out CM Punk”. He was the only one in the UFC I could see myself being allowed to fight. I didn’t expect all this. I was kind of throwing up a Hail Mary, you know? They really caught it and ran with it,” Mickey said.
Mickey’s gamble paid off, and the young fighter, who trains out of Millers Gym MMA, Gracie New Jersey, and ATT Allentown, is one of the hottest commodities in MMA today – two months after his first professional fight!
Recalling his entry into the fight game, Mickey said, “I did a little bit of boxing growing up. I’d get up really early, and either my mom or my dad would drive; I also played different sports like football, baseball, and basketball. I never had time during the week, so I only did it on Saturdays. I used to get up at like 6 in the morning to go.”
“Then I started doing jiu-jitsu for one day a week, up to a year. I started doing jiu-jitsu at 16, and I took it up immediately. I did that wanting to do MMA, and I fell in love with it. I started doing jiu-jitsu with David Adiv at Gracie New Jersey.”
The New Jersey native has received praises from his coaches, who believe Gall has the potential to bring Punk back to reality. Gall was featured on the recent installment of the reality show on UFC Network – Looking for a fight – and recalls how the day played out.
Gall said: “I felt good that day. Obviously, there were pre – fight nerves; I, like most fighters, get extremely nervous before we go out there and fight. I got out there and I was feeling good. Knowing he (Dana) was going to be there added to the excitement and added to the nerves a little bit.”
He added, “And I got in there, I hit the guy (his opponent) a couple of times, decided to take him down, and then hit a couple of times on the ground and he turned his back. I grabbed his neck, and I got the rear naked choke. And after, they were doing the interview and I grabbed the mic and I asked for the CM Punk fight.”
The 23-year-old also admitted that he did not spot Dana and the crew immediately. “No, if you saw the video, I was kind of spinning around as I was talking, saying, “I’m not sure where you are, but I’d love to fight that man (Punk)”. But after, they pointed and showed that he’s over there, and I shook his hand and said, “Hey! It’s an honor to fight in front of you”.
I was like, “CM Punk! He’s 0 – 0 and I’m 1 – 0. That’s a like record and that fight could happen”. And he was like, “I like where your head’s at kid”. And I didn’t expect much to come out of it, but all of a sudden I’m watching UFC with my dad, and they show the clip and I see myself talking, and my mouth just dropped like, “What?!” And it’s been a crazy week ever since.”
Before signing with the organization, Punk was known to be a big fan of MMA, and often worked with the Gracies and was a big advocate of BJJ. Punk also spoke about dabbling in Kenpo, although not extensively. So, does Gall think a year and a half was enough for Punk to win his first professional fight? “A year and a half to beat me in an MMA fight? No!”
Although Gall is quick to point out that nothing is official yet, the prospect of Gall making his UFC debut on the prelims card of the biggest PPV of the year, and arguably the biggest event in UFC history – UFC 200 is something Gall is definitely interested in.
“That would be a dream come true. That would be amazing,” Mickey said.
Gall now has to decide whether he should sit out for a couple of months, hoping to hear from the UFC, or look forward to his next fight. As a young fighter, Gall understands the importance of remaining active.
“Um, I’m letting this play out a little bit. I would like to fight; it gives me a nice purpose and gives me something to focus on. I don’t know, though; if I hear from the UFC, I’ll do what they tell me to do. There is a lot of heat going on with this right now, and I want to make sure that I play this right. I don’t want to rush and do something and miss a great opportunity. I’m hoping to hear from the UFC, and I’m going to do what they want me to do.”
Would that involve him sitting out for a couple of months? “It’s possible, but it’s unlikely. I don’t see myself sitting on the sidelines for that long. I’m a fighter, I like to fight. I want to get some fights in and continue my career.”
So is there something already being discussed? “I don’t know, man. I want to know just as bad as you do.”
Mickey also has a message for Punk, although it is not as audacious as his previous call out. “I’d say – it’d be an honor to fight you, CM Punk. I’d really love for you to accept the fight against me, and to ask for that fight against me, that’d be awesome - to fight you.”
Gall has already embraced the fact that he now has followers from all over the world. “What’s up India?! I love all you guys”. Gall’s training partners have spoken very highly of the youngster, and with UFC’s biggest PPV of the year nearing, the world waits for Dana White to give him the papers, and for Mickey to sign on the dotted line.