I’ll admit, the CM Punk/Mickey Gall fight last night was absolutely horrible. It looked like everything Punk had been training to do was useless, considering he didn’t even attempt to sprawl or block Gall’s immediate takedown attempt as Punk rushed in at the start. It was an absolute beating, and some UFC fans view it as an embarrassment. My only question about all of this: So what?
Yeah it was a little embarrassing, and it was just as painful to watch the beatdown as it was for Punk to receive it. However, in the end, does it really matter that he lost that bad? No one expected him to win the fight, and barely anyone expected him to make it out of the first round. The fight pretty much met everyone’s expectations, although I would’ve loved to see Punk actually stand face-to-face with Gall and throw some punches.
This fight wasn’t about CM Punk putting up a challenge for Mickey Gall, because we all knew that wouldn’t happen. It wasn’t about seeing if Punk would be a great MMA fighter with no prior experience, because we knew that was impossible. This fight was all about the spectacle.
I hate to bring up the WWE example in a UFC article, especially when CM Punk is involved, but it rings true here. This fight wasn’t about the outcome, because we knew what it would be before we went in, very much like almost every WWE match. This was about the storyline, the buildup, and the final payoff at the Quicken Loans Arena.
The crowd’s reaction to Punk walking out with “Cult of Personality” blaring in the background was absolutely perfect. The buildup to the fight, with cameras following Punk’s journey everywhere, was a great look at this obviously tough learning process for him. The highlight for me was Punk returning to the same room he told Vince McMahon and Triple H that he said he was “going home” at a WWE event and split.
Yes, the fight itself was embarrassing. However, watching Punk fight in the Octagon was something I never thought I’d see, and I’m happy I’m able to say I could watch it. He was humble and knew he got whooped, and his interview after the fight was great. You could tell he had fun, and he earned a lot of people’s respect for having the guts to step in the Octagon with a real fighter. Some will disagree, but Punk did something that almost no one would be willing to attempt, and I fully respect that.