It’s been almost two years since former WWE pro-wrestler, CM Punk made the announcement that he was going to fight in the UFC. And on Saturday night at UFC 203: Miocic vs Overeem, Punk will finally get his dream shot taking on 2-0 Mickey Gall.
And as most fighters have to painstakingly grind their way just to get a chance to be in the UFC, Punk hasn’t let the onslaught of naysayers get to him. “People either love me or hate me already,” said Punk. “I think the allure is just the fact that it’s happening.”
CM Punk was slated to make his octagon debut last February against Gall but had to pull out due to a back injury. Most of the early days of his training for that fight were documented on Fox Sport 1’s four part documentary, The Evolution of Punk. And fans and media were not quiet taking to social media questioning if Punk was ready for the cage. “It was a correct depiction of where I was when it was shot,” explained Punk. “He’s not going to be the same guy you saw in his last fight, just like I’m not going to be the same guy you saw on the television show.”
For Gall, whom many in the MMA community look at him as winning the fight lottery being chosen to fight Punk is getting more media attention than most may get their entire career. And he isn’t letting himself get caught up in the chaos and definitely isn’t a fanboy of Punk. “I’m not particularly impressed,” said Gall. “Bottom line is we’re going to fight and I know that when he gets to the fight, bad habits tend to come out and I’ll be able to expose those.”
The UFC has said in the past that it won’t do circus style spectacle fights. But in 2010 at UFC 118, Randy Couture vs. James Toney was exactly that. This fight is completely different. What you have with the debut of CM Punk in the UFC is what fans and media always talk about wanting back in the sport. A fighter that wants to fight for fight’s sake. Will the UFC and CM Punk make a lot of money off this fight? Obviously. But I don’t think Punk cares about that. For him, this is a chance to prove to himself and those watching that he is done with scripted combat and ready for the real world of fighting. “I see my hand getting raised,” said Punk. “I want to show out. I want to show up. I want to beat Mickey and I don’t really give a (explicative) how I do it.”
CM Punk will face Mickey Gall on the main card of UFC 203: Miocic vs. Overeem LIVE on Saturday, September 10th only on PPV. Main card starts at 10pm ET.