Mickey Gall hasn't quite hit the lottery yet, but he's one step away.
Gall, the 23-year-old New Jersey welterweight who made a splash on the second episode of the UFC's Looking for a Fight series, is slated to fight fellow prospect Michael Jackson on Feb. 6 at UFC 196. If Gall wins, he is expected to receive the chance to welcome former professional wrestler turned MMA fighter CM Punk into the Octagon.
UFC President Dana White announced the news Wednesday on Off the Record with Michael Landsberg.
"I'm bringing Mickey Gall in, and he's going to fight a kid named Michael Jackson," White said. "They're going to fight on the prelims, on February 6th on Fight Pass, and if he wins that fight, Mickey Gall will fight CM Punk. And CM Punk will be there at the fight to watch."
White added on Twitter that if Jackson defeats Gall, Jackson will not receive the shot at Punk.
Gall (1-0) called out Punk after winning his MMA debut against Ron Templeton via first-round submission at Dead Serious MMA 17 on Nov. 21. White, who was in the audience for the taping of Looking for a Fight, appeared receptive of the idea, telling cameras that he was "interested" in Gall's proposition.
Gall holds a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and trains out of Miller Brothers MMA, Gracie New Jersey Jiu-Jitsu Academy, and American Top Team Allentown. He recently told MMA Fighting that he would have no qualms spoiling Punk's welcome party to the UFC.
"Honestly, man, I think that guy's used to going into a ring and whispering to his guy, ‘Hey, let's do a clothesline. Hey, let's practice jumping off the ropes and this and that," Gall said.
"I think when he gets in there and he has me coming at him looking to kill him, I don't think he'll be able to handle it. He's a professional wrestler, and he's great at that. He's made himself a millionaire doing that. But now he's stepping into a different world, and I think he'd be in a lot of trouble."
A former WWE champion, Punk signed with the UFC in Dec. 2014 with zero background in the sport of MMA on an amateur or professional level. He has since trained at Milwaukee's Roufusport camp under the tutelage of head coach Duke Roufus, and his UFC debut is expected to come on one of the biggest stages of 2016.
"[Gall] is holding a lottery ticket with really good odds of winning the lottery right now," White said. "Like you said, he's got to get through this fight, and yeah, it's going to be a life-changer for this kid."