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Gall: A lot of people see CM Punk as 'joke', but I'm treating him as champ

Mickey Gall is not taking CM Punk lightly ahead of their welterweight clash at UFC 203.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday, after over a year of anticipation it was announced that CM Punk - real name Phil Brooks - would make his UFC debut against Mickey Gall at UFC 203.

Punk, who was expected to compete last year, has been sidelined with injuries and ridiculed as one of the UFC's worst signings. His opponent Mickey Gall, however, who made an impressive Octagon debut of his own after shutting out Mike Jackson in the first round at UFC Fight Night 82, is treating Brooks as the toughest fight of his career.

The 24-year-old prospect spoke to FOX Sports about the matchup in a recent interview.

"I'm going to prepare as if they say he's the best in the world. I'm going to prepare like he's the baddest dude around," Gall said. "I don't really think I need to see tape. I'm going to force my game. I'm taking him very seriously.

"A lot of people are treating him like a joke but I'm going to look like a real (expletive) if I go out there thinking he's a joke and get myself beat. I won't let that happen."

The New Jersey-based fighter embarked on a career in combat sports in 2014, winning two amateur fights before going pro last year and developing a 2-0 resume. Gall was scouted on a regional show on Dana White's 'Looking for a Fight' reality series, after the ambitious prospect called Punk out in his post-fight interview.

Despite his respect for Brooks, Gall believes he'll finish the former WWE superstar in the opening round.

"I think I'll finish him in one round, but I'll be prepared to go three hard rounds. I think I'll be able to get him in one. That's what I do, I get people in one. I plan to do some violence, some terrible things in the fight. I'm going to make it real ugly for him."

Punk vs. Gall, which will feature as a welterweight bout on the main card of UFC 203, takes place at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio on September 10.

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