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Mickey Gall vows to make most of opportunity against CM Punk, but says he doesn’t belong on UFC 203 poster

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

CLEVELAND – For all the fanfare that CM Punk has received heading into his UFC debut, his opponent — Mickey Gall — has rode shotgun. And now that UFC 203 fight week is upon us, the 24-year-old New Jersey native is pinching himself a little bit.

For instance, it registers as very real that his likeness is everywhere, and he doesn’t necessarily think he belongs on the promotional material. In fact, it kind of freaks him out a bit to see his face on a pay-per-view poster next to the likes of Saturday night’s headliners, Stipe Miocic and Alistair Overeem. One of those posters was the backdrop for the media scrum at Wednesday’s UFC 203 open workouts.

"I’m on the damn poster in my second UFC fight, it’s crazy," Gall said at the Gateway Plaza.

Gall was very matter-of-fact in addressing the circumstance he finds himself in on Saturday night, greeting a famous WWE wrestler to the Octagon. He called the fight "high risk, high reward," but knows all eyes will be on his fight. It might be a little too much, too soon, but he reiterated that he wants to seize the moment.

"He’s a superstar, I get that," he said. "I don’t know, It’s weird seeing myself on the poster. I don’t think I should be on the poster yet. I know I shouldn’t be. But I’m happy that I am, and I’m going to make the most of it. I’m fighting after Jimmie Rivera and Urijah Faber. It’s crazy, you know what I mean? Let’s call a spade a spade. But yeah, I’m very happy with the opportunity, and I’m going to make the most of it."

Gall is in this position because he had the presence of mind to call out CM Punk when Dana White saw him in his first professional fight back in November in Philadelphia. White, who was filming the pilot episode of Lookin’ For a Fight, signed Gall to a contract with the idea of arranging a future bout between him and CM Punk. He made his UFC debut back in February against Mike Jackson, scoring a submission just 45 seconds into the fight.

That set up his bout with Punk, whose real name is Phil Brooks.

Asked if he would have another name to call out after his fight with Punk, Gall said he did.

"Yeah, I’ll probably have a name in my mouth," he said. "I’m not going to say yet. But, it got me to the dance, I’ll keep dancing with that. I think when you’re on the mic you should make the most of that. They ask who you want, I’m not going to say whoever the UFC will give me. I’m going to have a person that I want to fight. I think that will be fun."

Gall said that his fight with Punk would be the best "15 or less minutes of my life," and his job was to bring a dose of reality to CM Punk.

"I wake up in the middle of the night, and I keep picturing different ways I’m dominating him," he said. "I can’t wait to see which way that’s going to be in the cage."

When asked about the FOX Sports 1 show called Evolution that the UFC did on Punk, he said he caught some of it.

"It’s funny, they filmed with me, and they cut out a lot of sh*t, they said it made me look too nice," he said. "So yeah, it was cool man, whatever. Him and his girl seem nice. It was fun. The show was fun."

Asked if it made him sympathetic to Punk, Gall didn’t mince words.

"No, no," he said. "Within the rules, I’m going in there to kill him."