Mickey Gall cashed in huge by calling out CM Punk, however what initially appeared like an ingenious play has changed into a disastrous long-term funding.

Let me begin by saying I believe very extremely of Gall. Launched to UFC followers 5 years in the past, the New Jersey native has proved to be proficient, clever, gritty and ever-evolving. Sadly, Gall’s story at this juncture is certainly one of “an excessive amount of too quickly.”

Gall (6-3) made one of many smartest performs the game has ever seen. Following a sub-three-minute rear-naked choke win in his skilled debut — which featured on Dana White: Lookin’ for a Battle — Gall regarded immediately on the UFC President and supplied to battle Punk within the pro-wrestler’s combined martial arts debut.

Gall made quick work of Mike Jackson in Feb. 2016 to earn the correct to battle Punk on the principle card of UFC 203. It took him 2:14 to remind the world simply what it takes to compete within the sport’s largest promotion. It was his subsequent battle, a battle between two future UFC stars, that strapped a small rocket to Gall’s again.

A Battle Evening occasion in Dec. 2016 paired up Sage Northcutt and Gall. This was solely Gall’s fourth skilled battle and third within the UFC. Gall continued to point out off his grappling prowess in spherical 1 earlier than being dropped in spherical two. He weathered the storm of “Tremendous” Sage and answered again with a whipping proper hand that floored Northcutt. Gall snatched Northcutt’s again and sunk in what could be his fourth-consecutive rear-naked choke victory.

The sky was the restrict for Gall, who had so far spent 75 % of his profession within the UFC. His grappling abilities have been indeniable, his resilience was examined and he dropped a superior striker in Northcutt. After which it went downhill.

Gall’s unanimous choice loss to Mike Perry at UFC Vegas Four is the newest in an up-and-down cycle for the welterweight. The (deserved) hype-train got here off the rails as soon as Gall was brutalized by Randy Brown en path to a choice loss at UFC 217. Gall bounced again from his first profession loss and notched a fifth rear-naked choke in opposition to Kevin Sullivan. The loss that actually broken Gall’s repute was a second-round TKO loss to Diego Sanchez — who was coming off a win over Craig White following consecutive first-round KO losses to Matt Brown and Al Iaquinta. Within the Sanchez battle, Gall visibly gassed early and later attributed his efficiency to kidney failure stemming from a poor weight minimize. He confirmed vital enchancment in opposition to Salim Touahri; though, Toahri was 0-2 heading into the battle. Subsequent fights with Carlos Condit and Alex Oliveira fell by earlier than Gall was in the end paired with Perry for the co-main occasion of UFC Vegas 4.

All credit score to Gall, he confirmed nice enchancment within the first two rounds, touchdown continuously with on Mr. “Platinum” with a superior jab. Sadly, Gall was over-matched within the energy and cardio departments. He was floored, grounded and mashed by Perry.

The UFC just isn’t a hyperbolic chamber for progress. It’s a grinder that turns recent meat to chopped liver. Chase Hooper, Phillipe Nover, Northcutt, and now Gall. All fighters who have been burdened with lofty expectations. Abilities who have been handed huge boy pants earlier than they actually had time to develop into them. This isn’t a scathing criticism of these males, removed from it. Every possesses uncooked expertise and a excessive ceiling. Plus everyone knows it’s onerous for fighters to say no when the UFC comes calling. However at what price? Gall had the world in his palms earlier than he was prepared for the accountability. He’s bettering considerably from fight-to-fight, however he’s additionally taking harm each bodily and to his repute.

I’ve little doubt that Gall would have made it to the UFC. So I can’t assist however suppose: CM Punk was not Gall’s best reward, it was his best curse.