CM Punk’s signing with the UFC has been controversial ever since it was announced back at UFC 182, and much of the talk this week has revolved around the former WWE superstar’s Octagon debut this Saturday.
UFC President Dana White has been adamant in defending the match-up between Punk and Mickey Gall, the 24-year-old New Jersey native who earned the fight with CM Punk following his 45-second destruction of Mike Jackson in February.
“I don’t need to defend the matchup, we don’t do gimmick fights,” White said during this week’s Fight Life podcast. This kid Mickey Gall (Punk’s) fighting is nasty. He’s fighting a real tough guy. This is no gimmick, this is do or die for CM Punk.”
“Gall is the real deal, it’s gonna be a tough fight for Punk.”
The most obvious comparison to CM Punk’s UFC signing was when fellow WWE star Brock Lesnar debuted with the promotion against Frank Mir back at UFC 81.
“When Brock Lesnar entered the UFC, we threw the kitchen seat at him. We’re not taking it easy (on Punk).”
Punk’s UFC debut has been pushed back twice due to injuries and was almost dashed yet again due to his 0-0 record, but the Ohio State Athletic Commission almost denied him due to his inexperience, but ultimately ended up allowing the WWE star to fight.