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Punk Comments on UFC Debut Date
Friday, Jan. 15
Punk told Associated Press reporter Dan Gelston that he hopes his debut is in July.
White Comments on Punk's Potential Debut
Friday, Jan. 15
"The CM Punk fight is probably going to be in June," Dana White said on WBZ-FM's Toucher & Rich (h/t MMAFighting.com). "UFC 199 is what I'm thinking."
Gall's Public Comments Work, Gets Potential Punk Fight
Wednesday, Jan. 13
White noted Gall will fight Michael Jackson on Feb. 6 in a prelim match at UFC 196. If Gall is able to defeat Jackson, he'll move on to face Punk on an undetermined date.
"He's holding a lottery ticket with really good odds," White said of Gall. "He's got to get through this fight, and, yeah, it's going to be a life-changer for this kid."
Simon Head of the Sun came equipped with the pun game:
So if Mickey Gall loses to Michael Jackson, MJ would face CM Punk? That'd be a Thriller.— Simon Head (@simonhead) January 13, 2016
Gall, 23, defeated Ron Templeton via submission in his most recent fight in November. He then almost immediately set his sights on Punk, whose debut is arguably the most anticipated since Ronda Rousey joined the UFC.
Gall said on a recent SFLC podcast he would make quick and easy work of the former WWE champion, per Damon Martin of FoxSports.com:
I finish CM Punk. I'm not sure if I knock him out or I submit him, but I think it ends, and 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.
Punk, 37, has never fought in mixed martial arts. While trained in kempo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Punk spent most of his adult life in the professional wrestling business, working his way from the independent circuit to become one of WWE's biggest stars. He left suddenly in 2014 amid controversy and has since embarked in a public war of words with the sport's premier promotion.
UFC signed Punk in December 2014, and he has been training under Duke Roufus since. Making Punk's debut intriguing beyond his name recognition is that no one knows how good he can be. His debut against Gall could prove a miserable failure, perhaps even sending him back into the arms of professional wrestling. Or Punk may find salvation in MMA, making a meteoric rise the way Brock Lesnar did during his short time with the promotion.
Either way, expect a record-setting number of eyeballs to be watching when we find out.
Follow Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) on Twitter.