Mickey Gall (1-0) has been given the opportunity of a lifetime. After calling out former WWE champion CM Punk (0-0) on the first episode of Dana White: Lookin’ for a Fight, Gall was rewarded with what’s being called a “CM Punk qualifier bout,” he’s guaranteed a shot at Punk with a victory but his opponent isn’t being offered the same opportunity. The bout takes place tomorrow night and his opponent is Mike “The Truth” Jackson (0-0). The fight will headline the UFC Fight Pass portion of Fight Night 82 in Vegas.
While the UFC brass and Punk have been focused on Gall leading into this fight, a lot of the MMA media has done us fans due diligence by giving us the story of Mike Jackson – who just so happens to be a member of the media himself – leading up to this fight. Jackson owns a website where he shares his photography (which even includes photos of Burlesque events in Houston) and writing skills. He did a fantastic job on this week’s episode of the MMA Beat alongside combat media vets Ariel Helwani, Kevin Iole, and Chuck Mindenhall and he gave a great interview to MMAJunkie (FF to the 41:00 marker for Mike’s interview) as well earlier today. Like Gall, the guy just seems like the perfect opponent for Punk if you’re looking to sell a true fight between two guys with limited experience; you need two people for a fight, right? So, this begs the following questions – why hasn’t it been announced that Jackson will get a shot at Punk if he wins the fight? Why not make this fight a true qualifier?
Let’s be honest, this whole situation is unprecedented and it’s an absolute circus. That said – it’s one of the most intriguing stories of the year and it will continue to be leading up to Punk’s debut and beyond. The cool thing about it is that Punk, Gall and Jackson all recognize it. They know how crazy this all is but this is the situation they are all in and it’d be even crazier for them to not make the most of it. The only problem I have with this “circus” is that Jackson isn’t being given a fair shake on the surface. If Galls wins, this becomes a moot point. If Jackson does pull off the “upset,” White really has no other choice but to make him Punk’s opponent. Should he win, Jackson’s slick mic skills will make it nearly impossible for White to deny him when he calls out Punk immediately after the fight. The media is already behind him and the fans will be too if he can win his pro MMA debut on the biggest stage possible. Also, would there really be any other option?
Gall has been given the golden ticket – the pressure is all on him heading into the contest. Can Jackson rip it out of his hands tomorrow night in Vegas and cash it in this Spring/Summer against one of the most high-profile signings to never compete in MMA history? This is one of those strange once in a lifetimes stories in the sport that really makes this fight the true people’s main event of UFC Fight Night 82. Go ahead, I give you permission to treat this fight as a true CM Punk qualifier. Because no matter what happens tomorrow night – the winner of this bout will fight CM Punk next if everyone involved stays healthy. It’s just common sense. It’s just the right thing to do.
Mickey Gall vs. Mike Jackson headlines the UFC Fight Pass portion of UFC Fight Night 82 tomorrow night beginning at 7 p.m. ET
Box2 years ago
Post-Fight Press Conference: Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury
Bellator3 years ago
Bellator 206 ‘Mousasi vs. MacDonald’ weigh-in video + results
MMA3 years ago
Dallas On The Rise: UFC 228’s Hometown Fighters
BKFC3 years ago
Bare Knuckle FC 2 ‘A New Era’ fight card, live stream for ‘Rawlings vs. Hart’
MMA3 years ago
John Malkovich narrates ‘There Can Only Be One King’ UFC 229 PPV open
Box3 years ago
Mayweather widely backed to beat Pacquiao again
Box3 years ago
24/7: Canelo vs. Golovkin 2 (Full Episode)
MMA2 years ago
UFC Fight Night 153 Prediction: Gustafsson vs. Smith