Punk falters in debut as Gall wins by submission

 The odds were against CM Punk succeeding in his first mixed martial arts bout, but that didn’t stop the former WWE superstar from making the walk to the Octagon to face Mickey Gall Saturday night at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. And while Gall secured the first-round submission victory in dominant fashion, Punk remained unbowed in defeat.

“In life, you go big or go home,” Punk said. “I like to take challenges. This was a helluva mountain to try to climb, and I didn’t get to the summit today, but that doesn’t mean I’m gonna give up or stop.”

Welterweight Gall said of the crazy ride that began with him calling Punk out on Dana White’s “Lookin’ for a Fight” show, “It’s been crazy, it’s been fun. It was a great opportunity. I see a lot of hate for this guy online, and I think we all hate too much. Let’s love each other. F**k the hate.”

More from UFC 203: Results | Miocic defends crown at home | Werdum wins chaotic co-main | Punk falters in UFC debut | Correia gets back to winning ways in prelims | Medeiros kicks off the night with a win | Backstage interviews: Stipe Miocic, Fabricio Werdum, Mickey Gall, Urijah Faber, Jessica Andrade | Octagon interviews: Stipe Miocic and Alistair Overeem, Fabricio Werdum, Mickey Gall and CM Punk, Yancy Medeiros | Postfight press conference highlights | Replay: Watch Medeiros vs Spencer on UFC FIGHT PASS | Best pics from fight night

Despite the respect shown by both welterweights after the bout, Gall made sure he was not going to be denied in the Octagon. Punk rushed Gall at the start, only to be met with a double leg takedown. Gall proceeded to fire off a series of hard strikes before taking Punk’s back. After more strikes, Gall sunk in a rear naked choke, and that was it, with Punk tapping out at 2:14 of the opening stanza.

“Obviously, Mickey’s a helluva fighter,” Punk said. “I will be back, believe it or not. This was the most fun I’ve ever had in my life. I know there’s a lot of doubters, but life’s about falling down and getting up.”

As for the 24-year-old Gall, he made an emphatic call out of fellow young gun Sage Northcutt.

“This might be seen like a gimmicky fight, but I’m no gimmick,” he said. “I’m for real.”

With the win, Green Brook, New Jersey’s Gall moves to 3-0; the 37-year-old Punk falls to 0-1.

UFC 203 - Curated tweets by ufc

Watch Past Fights


UFC Minute host Lisa Foiles runs through all the big results from Fight Night Gdansk that aired exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS. Get details on Darren Till's big win over Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone and more, and make sure to check it out on FIGHT PASS.
Darren Till spoke backstage about his mammoth victory against Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone in Gdansk on UFC FIGHT PASS. Till also spoke about calling out Mike Perry and their interaction near the Octagon.
Mike "Platinum" Perry was in attendance for Darren Till's first-round finish of Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone in Gdansk. Till called Perry out after the win and the two exchanged words. Perry spoke about it with John Gooden and Dan Hardy on the broadcast.
Darren Till steamrolled Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone in the main event of Fight Night Gdansk, finishing the popular veteran by TKO in the first round. He spoke about the win and had words with fellow welterweight Mike Perry, who was in attendance.