CM Punk, the former WWE superstar, is finally on the threshold of making the transition to MMA. After months of speculation, Punk’s first opponent in the octagon was revealed Saturday night.
It has been confirmed that Punk will fight Mickey Gall later this year. Gall earned the right to face the former pro wrestler after defeating Mike Jackson at UFC Fight Night 82 with a rear naked choke submission. After the fight, Gall taunted Punk by yelling “Feed Me CM Punk.”
Punk was cageside watching the fight, scouting his maiden opponent in the octagon. After UFC commentator Jon Anik made the match official, Punk entered the Octagon and shook hands with his future opponent.
Long time coming…
Gall, 24, has been waiting a long time to fight Punk. Last January, he told Fox Sports last January, “I’ll finish CM Punk. I’m not sure if I’ll knock him out or I’ll submit him, but I think it ends in the first round. I’m supremely confident. I think I’m made for this fight. It’s a dream opportunity. I did think I’d get to the UFC one day but didn’t think it would happen this quick, but I’m extremely ready. If this comes to fruition, I’ll be a happy man,” he said.
According to UFC President Dana White, the Gall-Punk bout has been penciled in for the UFC 199 PPV. Despite both fighters being relatively unknown to MMA fans, the promoters are expecting a huge draw due to Punk’s popularity.
“I’m having fun, and it looked like he (Gall) was having fun,” Punk told UFC Fight Pass Saturday. “I just think in this world (MMA) especially, a lot of people especially are taking themselves too seriously. I know I certainly don’t, and it doesn’t look like he does. You can kind of lose yourself in the seriousness of it. You can beat yourself up before you get to a fight. It’s good to know that he’s having fun.
Can CM Punk make a successful transition from the squared circle to the octagon? Only time will tell.