The much-ballyhooed debut of Phil “CM Punk” Brooks at UFC 203 last weekend was crushed quickly and violently by Mickey Gall. But then Gall did something even more noteworthy, and the UFC should take full advantage of it.
After Gall needed all of barely more than two minutes to take Punk to the mat and choke him out, the victorious fighter went on to make an even more bold statement than submitting a soon-to-be-38-year-old former pro wrestler who had never competed in mixed martial arts before. He called out UFC darling Sage Northcutt:
— UFC (@ufc) September 11, 2016
Gall called out another fighter who’s setting the MMA world abuzz (or at least that’s what the UFC would have you believe). The UFC is still trying to push Northcutt too fast, too soon, but a fight with Gall is just what the doctor ordered for both fighters.
At first glance, it would appear that pitting Gall against Northcutt would be akin to the UFC pitting Punk against Gall. It was proven after Gall’s dominant victory at UFC 203 that even though he only had two more professional fights than Punk with a total cage time of less than one full round, he still had miles upon miles of experience that Punk couldn’t match.
Northcutt has three times the amount of pro fights as Gall. His last fight, against Enrique Marin at UFC 200, was Northcutt’s first to go the distance. Both Gall and Northcutt have a nose for the finish, which would likely make for an exciting match-up for the fans.
For a 24 year old with 3 professional fights, what a brilliant move calling out Sage Northcutt after the fight. High profile to high profile
— Suzanne Davis (@SoozieCuzie) September 12, 2016
Even though we saw Gall for just over two minutes during his victory against Punk, it was an impressive showing. It’s hard to gauge too much, considering the quality of Gall’s opponent, but Gall is young and fast. He looks to have very good grappling skills, too. And Punk’s face in the aftermath of the fight was proof enough that Gall also hits like a ton of bricks.
Northcutt is also young and quick, and he boasts a diverse skill set with his striking and ground game. He has almost equally split his eight victories between knockouts and submissions, so he can win the fight in multiple ways.
We all know the UFC is about promotion. Why else would the company sign Punk despite his lack of MMA experience? While Punk’s actual performance in the cage was a monumental bust, the UFC milked every drop from the promotional teat in advance of the former WWE superstar’s Octagon debut. What does that have to do with Gall fighting Northcutt? Everything.
Northcutt was first discovered by UFC President Dana White on his YouTube reality series, Lookin’ for a Fight. Where was Gall first discovered by White? That’s right: the very same show. It’s also where Gall first asked the UFC to let him fight Punk. The UFC has been at the forefront of promoting streaming content via UFC Fight Pass, so matching up two fighters who made their first appearances on another UFC-created online program is a great way for the UFC to remain on the cutting edge.
Above all else, Gall and Northcutt are two of the more bona fide prospects the UFC has right now. Yes, I’m considering Gall a prospect even though his only UFC wins were against Punk, a former professional wrestler, and a Legacy photographer/videographer named Mike Jackson.
The names Northcutt and Gall are well known among MMA fans at the moment, and it appears that Northcutt is interested in stepping into the Octagon against Gall. The timing is never better for the UFC to strike while the iron is hot and pit these two eager young fighters against each other.