To say that Mickey Gall’s first five years with the UFC have been eventful would be an understatement.
Since being signed in 2015 from Dana White’s Lookin’ for a Fight show after just one pro bout, Gall has fought former WWE Superstar CM Punk, highly touted prospect Sage Northcutt, inaugural Ultimate Fighter winner Diego Sanchez, and was once scheduled to fight former interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit before a detached retina forced Condit out of the meeting.
When you compare it to those names, Gall’s dominant first-round win over Jordan Williams at UFC Vegas 32 seems relatively inconsequential, even though it was further evidence of the 29-year-old’s potential. He improved to 6-3 in the UFC with four of those wins coming by way of rear-naked choke.
Gall spoke about his unique UFC journey in a recent interview on MMA Fighting’s What the Heck.
“Let’s be honest, I’ve been spoiled to a degree with some big, fun fights,” Gall said. “I came into the UFC and I had Mike Jackson, and I had CM Punk, and I had Sage Northcutt. Just so many people. Perry, Diego, all these fights are big huge names, big fights, Condit I was supposed to fight.
“[The Williams fight] was different. It was a guy I didn’t know of, but I knew he was tougher than hell. So you could say it was bigger risk, littler reward because not as many people know him. If you lose to guys like that, you lost to someone that people don’t even know, but it’s whatever. I know that motherf*cker made me get up and work and put some fear into me and I had to come correct and we got it done. So it’s great to just be on this side of it.”
Speaking of Condit, Gall admitted that he’s still interested in rebooking a fight with the fan favorite that Gall describes as “a fighter as true as you can get.”
Gall is targeting a return to action in November in anticipation of the UFC’s annual visit to Madison Square Garden. In his post-fight interview, Gall wasn’t as prepared with a name as he usually is, but the prospect of fighting Condit at some point in the future is an appealing one.
“I didn’t have a name in my head,” Gall said. “This is like the first fight where I didn’t have a name, so I guess old habits die hard. Someone brought it up and I was like, ‘You know what? I was supposed to fight Condit.’ That one kind of sticks in my craw. If there’s someone you looked up to as a kid that you were supposed to interview, and then they get sick or hurt and can’t interview, you still want to do that interview, you know what I’m saying?
“I still want to do that fight. I looked up to Condit as a kid and I was supposed to fight him, so it kind of sits in my craw a little bit. At the same time, I’d rather fight anyone than not fight in the next couple of months. So if it’s Condit, cool. Big name, legend, former interim champ. I would love it. But otherwise, whoever.”
Gall has alternated wins and losses in his past seven bouts and he knows that every time he takes a step back he’ll hear the same criticism’s he’s heard since he made his first walk to the octagon. However, excited about the fact that almost his entire pro career to this date has been documented by the UFC’s cameras and he’s expecting there to be a big payoff when it’s all said and done.
“It’s only going to get better,” Gall said. “Growing up in the UFC, I’ve known all my growing pains were going to be shown to the world and people were gonna judge me off them and will probably still look at me as the kid who came in and didn’t have the striking as a 24-year-old kid. I’m not, I’ve had the opportunity to train with the best people in the world and I’ve taken it very seriously and it’s paying off. It’s gonna continue to pay off. The top guys in my division are, like, six or seven years older than me. They have a lot more fights and a lot more experience and I’m getting that on the job. I’m just trying to stay active like I’ve been doing.
“Obviously, this year wasn’t ideal for being active, when you get hurt it’s hard to be, but we’re gonna be active, we’re gonna get after it and I really think it’s gonna be a real cool story at the end. It’s championship or bust for me.”