Mickey Gall vs CM Punk Facing The Pressure
This Saturday night, the world will watch on as CM Punk makes his long-awaited UFC debut. I’m not going to delve too deep into this whole situation as honestly. Everyone’s given an opinion so mine isn’t all that relevant. I think it’s ridiculous that he’s in the premier promotion but regardless. I admire his seemingly pure intentions. Nonetheless, the focus will be, understandably, all on Punk due to his fame and popularity. Opposite him though, is a very different story.
Mickey Gall is just 24 years of age, he’s had only two professional fights and yet due to unforeseen circumstances finds himself on a PPV main card in a huge fight. The reality is that Saturday night is likely to shape the rest of Gall’s career.
I hate the phrase ‘must-win’ but let’s be honest here. If Gall loses to CM Punk it’s going to be hard for him to shake that from being forever linked to his name. Saturday night basically decides the difference between Gall being a regional fighter known for losing to Punk. Or a fledgeling prospect who gained notoriety by beating him.
Usually, when there’s a big, defining fight, we as fans consider how the fighters involved will handle the pressure. However, it’s pretty difficult to do in this scenario. I understand that Punk has performed in front of huge crowds but this is his first MMA fight, he doesn’t even have any amateur experience. There’s no way to know how he’ll react. Gall is also a mystery, even if a lesser one. The only example of Gall having to fight with real pressure thus far is his last fight, his UFC debut against Mike Jackson.
Deciding Who Will Face CM Punk
The preliminary bout would decide who would get the Punk fight. And considering Gall’s inexperience heading in, he handled the situation perfectly. Mickey Gall was aggressive from the start and dropped Jackson very early in the first round before finishing the fight with a rear-naked choke, all in 45 seconds.
Now I’m not going to sell Gall like he’s an emerging superstar. However, he was confident and assured, that’s always going to bode well for him against a debutant. It’s also important to note that whilst Jackson was making his MMA debut. He had kickboxing and boxing experience, which is more than can be said for Punk.
Although, it should be remembered that while there was certainly pressure on Gall heading into that fight back in February, this is a whole different scenario.
This is the main card fight on a PPV, it’s been heavily advertised and it’s going to take place in front of a huge crowd.
Mickey Gall isn’t prepared for this kind of an event, he simply can’t be at this point of his career. That’s definitely a factor to keep an eye on as we go through fight week. However, if Gall can replicate his approach in the Jackson fight, it shouldn’t have such an impact.
I must concede that when the UFC signed Punk I expected an opponent with a losing record. That’s not a criticism either, he has no experience so there’d be nothing wrong with that kind of opposition. Now I reiterate, I’m not saying Gall’s the prospect of the year, but he does seem different. He has his own ambitions, his own motivations and his own career.
How Will Punk Perform Inside the UFC Octagon?
That’s the part so many are forgetting, the result of this fight doesn’t just lie on Punk’s shoulders. There’s a chance that Punk surprises us, looks competent, comfortable and yet still loses. Why? Because Gall has a say in the matter. We genuinely don’t know how good Gall is, which makes his place as Punk’s opponent even stranger.
There’s a lot of questions to ask as we head into this Saturday night. It’s nothing if not intriguing. I guess time will tell, it’s virtually impossible to know what to expect. Nevertheless, I wanted to stress this: I have respect for what Punk is doing here, he’s throwing himself into a new world and taking a big risk.
Though I don’t love everything about it, I can appreciate that aspect of it at least. On the other hand, Gall’s young career depends on what happens here, that’s quite a scary thought for such an inexperienced fighter. Either way, Saturday night, we find out the answers.
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