— #UFCVegas (@ufc) February 7, 2016
After several months of anticipation and speculation, CM Punk fans finally got the announcement that they have been waiting for. At Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night: Hendricks vs. Thompson event, Mickey Gall defeated Mike Jackson with an impressive 45-second submission finish to officially become the opponent for the former WWE Superstar’s Octagon debut later this year.
Gall earned the opportunity to join the UFC and potentially get the shot against Punk after calling him out live in the cage in his pro MMA debut at a local event in front of Dana White a few months ago. The scene was filmed for White’s new reality show, “Dana White: Lookin’ For A Fight,” and impressed the UFC President enough that he immediately signed the MMA newcomer to a UFC contract and put him in a preliminary fight with the shot against Punk on the line.
Following his victory in the prelim fight on Saturday evening, the Punk-Gall build-up continued as the two did a brief promotional stare-down in the Octagon. This adds to what is quickly becoming a decent amount of footage to be used in pre-fight TV specials to promote the fight.
When you consider the fact that Punk has no MMA fights on tape and Gall only has two — both of which were quick finishes — it’s pretty impressive that the UFC has as much footage as they currently do without going too far outside the box. The company was in a position to have to come up with non-traditional ways to promote what will undoubtedly be a high-profile fight with a 0-0 aging former pro wrestler, something MMA purists have already taken issue with.
Regardless, Punk vs. Gall is now confirmed for this year, however it has yet to be announced when or where the fight will take place. While Punk continues to make it clear that he would like to make his UFC debut at the landmark UFC 200 event in July, Dana White remains equally as consistent in saying that UFC 199 in June is more likely.
— Dana White (@danawhite) February 7, 2016