I’ve been asked how I think the fight with CM Punk and Mickey Gall will go by a few people over the last couple weeks, so I’m going to weigh in with my thoughts on the fight. It won’t be a traditional breakdown, though. This will be more a collection of random musings and ideas.
I’ve known Phil Brooks—you all know him as CM Punk—for years. I know that he’s training out there with Duke Roufus’ team, and that he’s been out there for almost two years.
If we’re being completely honest, we have to look at the fact that he doesn’t have fighting experience, amateur or pro, and he’s going into the UFC. He’s going up against a guy that’s not just another 0-0 fighter. Mickey Gall has amateur and pro experience, and he’s been training for a long time; I think I read somewhere that it’s been eight or nine years that this guy’s been training and fighting.
Your first fight, there’s always those nerves. People don’t realize how much a factor that is, especially on that big UFC stage. Phil has obviously performed on big stages, but he’s performed on an entertainment level, not so much as an athlete. He’ll be entering the cage as an athlete with no prior knowledge of what direction the outcome is going to go.
I don’t want to say that what he did didn’t require some level of athleticism, because that would be disingenuous. Pro-wrestlers definitely have to have a pretty high level of athleticism to be able to pull off some of the stunts that they do, but that’s what they are, though: They’re stunts.
There are more known factors than there are unknown factors in pro-wrestling. It’s the exact opposite for MMA. You never know what your opponent is going to do.
Simple little things like breathing make all the difference in the world. When you get in that cage, you’re in there for a real fight. Once that fight starts, especially if it’s your first time, you don’t necessarily have control of your breathing yet. You don’t know what it’s like to be hit full-on with those little MMA gloves. It’s hard to stay calm under those conditions for a veteran, much less a first-timer. These things come with experience.
It’s not like I think that Phil isn’t taking things seriously, because I 100% think he is. I know he’s doing everything he can possibly do, training-wise, and he has a good team behind him. The reality is, nobody knows how he’s going to perform, because nobody has seen it. We don’t have a body of amateur or pro fights to gather intel from, so it’s really hard to make a prediction of any substance on how this fight will go.
He’s got such a big following that you can’t help but get why the UFC would want him under their banner. He can fight in the UFC, so why not?
I don’t really know what his intentions are. It might just be a bucket list thing. If he can do it under the biggest promotion in the world, on the biggest stage, why wouldn’t he?
At the same time, he’s got to prepare himself for the possibility of a loss on the biggest stage in the world. I’m not saying he’ll lose, and I’m not saying he’ll win. I am saying that he’s certainly got his work cut out for him.