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Dana White: CM Punk likely to fight at UFC 199, not UFC 200

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"UFC 199 is what I'm thinking," Dana White said of CM Punk's professional MMA debut.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

It's been over a year since CM Punk signed with the UFC, but the former WWE star finally looks to have a potential opponent and date targeted for his debut.

Punk, real name Phil Brooks, signed with the UFC in December, 2014 and was anticipated to take on a "competitive" opponent in 2015. However, a shoulder injury in October forced the 37-year-old out of training and question marks began to arise over his future.

Dana White answered some of those questions on TSN's Off the Record on Wednesday. Mickey Gall, who was featured on the UFC's new Looking for a Fight series, is expected to meet Punk in the Octagon if he beats Michael Jackson at UFC 196. Gall made his professional MMA debut in November and submitted Ron Templeton via submission in the first round.

The UFC president also joined the Toucher & Rich show earlier today and said that Brooks is being targeted for UFC 199 in June.

"The CM Punk fight is probably going to be in June," White said. "UFC 199 is what I'm thinking."

White, who is realistic about Punk's chances in the UFC, says he's going to have his work cut out for him to make a splash as a serious competitor.

"The guy has never fought, he just started training and, you know, this is a tough business to get into," White said. "When Brock Lesnar came into the UFC, he had a serious wrestling pedigree. And not just WWE wrestling. Legit collegiate wrestling. CM Punk doesn't have any of that, so it's going to be tough for him."

(Transcriptions via MMA Fighting)