Remember when UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta stated last January that newly-signed Phil Brooks (pictured), better known as CM Punk, would “certainly [fight] somebody who MMA media will recognize and know” in his MMA debut?
Yeah, about that…
Fast forward 12 months and UFC president Dana White has possibly found Brooks’ first foe, and he’s certainly nobody anybody knows.
Please welcome to the stage, Mickey Gall!
Wait up. Who?
Gall made his professional MMA debut on White’s premiere episode of “Looking For A Fight.” After finishing off his first opponent with a rear-naked choke, Gall knew White was sitting in the stands and requested to welcome Brooks to the world of real fighting.
White heard Gall loud and clear, and more importantly, was impressed enough with what he saw that he signed Gall and could get his wish. All Gall needs to do is beat Michael Jackson at UFC 196 and he scores a bout with Brooks.
“I might as well break it here, right?” White said Wednesday on TSN’s “Off the Record.” “Mickey Gall – I’m bringing in Mickey Gall in and he’s going to fight a guy named Michael Jackson. They’re going to fight on the prelims on Feb. 6 on fight pass. If he wins that fight, Mickey Gall will fight CM Punk. CM Punk will be there to watch.”
Brooks signed with the UFC back in December 2014. At the time, White predicted he wouldn’t make his MMA debut until six months after joining Team Roufusport. Brooks’ debut has been delayed because he (depending upon who you ask) wasn’t improving at the pace UFC officials wanted, the UFC wasn’t able to locate the appropriate opponent, injuries, etc.
Brooks has never competed in a real mixed martial arts bout, but he has trained jiu jitsu extensively with the Gracies over the years. The 37-year-old said he will likely compete at middleweight, but welterweight is also on the table.
UFC 197 takes place February 6 inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Ideally, the UFC would like Brooks to make his debut at UFC 200 on July 9.