The UFC elected to sign Punk back in 2014, even though he has no MMA experience. The move was greeted by his fans, while many combat sports purists scoffed at the decision. Since then, Punk has been booked to fight Mickey Gall, who isn’t an experienced vet, but he does have several amateur and pro bouts under his belt (including a quick submission win over Mike Jackson in February to lock up a fight with Punk).
Well, in advance of his debut bout with Gall on September 10th, Punk had this to say about people’s expectations for his first pro bout (quote via MMA Junkie.com):
“I don’t know what the expectations are,” Punk said. “I know what my expectations are. I know what my team and my coach – what they expect out of me. I think it depends on what corner of the media or the Internet you look at to see what the expectations are. People expect me to get knocked out. People expect me to get starched in 30 seconds. The people who see me work here every day expect me to win.”
If you look at the betting lines, Punk is an underdog in the +230 to +260 range. Which, when you think about it, is sizeable, but not that big.
It’s going to be fascinating to see what unfolds. Punk has been training out of the renowned Roufusport gym in Milwaukee, so, chances are he’s improved leaps-and-bounds over the last year or so. But, will it be enough to get past Gall? Whose first amateur fight went down in 2014? We shall see. Even if Punk can carry the fight into the second round, and land some good shots or threaten with a submission, a lot of people will likely consider it a win. Now, if he defeats Gall…well, the internet’s going to get crazy.
UFC 203 will take place in Cleveland, Ohio. In the main event, heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic will take on Alistair Overeem.