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CM Punk to debut at UFC 203 against Mickey Gall

Former WWE professional wrestler CM Punk speaks at

Former WWE professional wrestler CM Punk speaks at a news conference following UFC 181 after signing a contract with the UFC Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Photo Credit: AP / Sam Morris

CM Punk will make his mixed martial arts debut at UFC 203 in Cleveland on Sept. 10, the promotion announced Thursday.

Punk will fight Mickey Gall in a welterweight bout.

Punk, whose real name is Phil Brooks, signed with the UFC in December 2014 after a successful career as a pro wrestler in the WWE.

Gall (2-0) is a prospect from New Jersey who was discovered by Dana White and Matt Serra on their “Lookin’ for a Fight” reality web series. In that fight, with both White and Serra in attendance, Gall took the microphone after his win and proclaimed that he wanted to be Punk’s first opponent in the UFC.

While the call-out was a shrewd move by Gall, it seems like a potentially fair matchup. The two fighters are a combined 2-0 in MMA. Gall won his UFC debut with a first-round submission of Mike Jackson last February.

“I think there’s a lot of suspect people out there with their opinions that they’re going to throw a can at me or whatever,” Punk said when discussing his fight of Thursday’s edition of the new “UFC Unfiltered” podcast with Serra and Jim Norton. “They really haven’t. Body weight, height, reach, everything, I think we’re almost identical. Experience goes to him. He’s fought in the Octagon and other places and I haven’t. He’s a nice guy. I talked to him very briefly at his debut and I felt bad that I had this setback and he’s been on the sidelines waiting.”

New York Sports