Mickey Gall simply gets it as Sage Northcutt becomes the latest victim of his rear naked choke 6 years ago

Mickey Gall simply gets it as Sage Northcutt becomes the latest victim of his rear naked choke

We've not seen a fighter take to the Octagon like a duck to water in the way that Mickey Gall has since, dare we say it, a certain Irishman stepped on the scene.

Conor McGregor's meteoric rise to the pinnacle of mixed martial arts was based on his seemingly God-given ability to plant himself in the memories of fight fans.


With more than 20 fighters competing on every UFC fight card, it's nigh-on impossible for new additions to the roster to stand out but McGregor got it instantly.

He embraced the media obligations. He had call-outs in his back pocket for his post-fight interviews. He had the technical skills to back it all up.

And it would appear that New Jersey's Gall is definitely cut from that same cloth.

Gall knows what he wants just as assuredly as he anticipates what might interest fans and he continues to masterfully call his own shots.


The knack seems to be a natural one as his mentors, UFC veterans Jim and Dan Miller, were never exactly renowned for their mic skills or meta knowledge of the industry.

But Gall, more than anything, has made a happy habit out of spotting a glimmer of an opportunity and forcing it into a blazing reality.


On the reality show Dana White: Lookin' for a Fight, Gall had the self-awareness to know that his recently acquired 1-0 record would make him a potential candidate for former WWE superstar CM Punk's debut opponent.

His first round rear naked choke victory last November set him up for a shot at performing in front of more eyes than he previously thought possible.

His second rear naked choke in three months, against Mike Jackson in both men's UFC debuts, offered up the chance for what is already an iconic promo.

"I want to be fed," said Gall in victory. "I'm hungry, feed me CM Punk, please."



And while the former professional wrestler banked over 10 times what Gall did in terms of fight purse, Gall enjoyed unprecedented levels of exposure as he dismantled Punk in two minutes.

"I've got someone I want next," Gall said as he found himself on the main card of a UFC pay-per-view less than a year since making his professional debut. "The fight everyone wants to see. I want 'Super' Sage Northcutt.


"I think that boy's corny and I want to punch the spikes out of his hair."

Gall knew that closed mouths don't get fed and after putting on an exhibition against a name like CM Punk's, he wanted to steal the hype with which Northcutt had been showered thanks to his freak athleticism and superhero-esque physique.

The fourth fight of Gall's career came this weekend in the co-main event of UFC on FOX 22, against Northcutt, and just like it did back at UFC 1, technique trumped raw power.

Gall recorded his fourth consecutive submission victory and, more impressively, already had the next step of his journey mapped out.

He'd steamrolled the most talked about UFC debutant in history and he dismantled a youngster being touted as a future champion.

So why not single out a veteran of the sport, whose rumoured comeback is gathering momentum and who once went five rounds with one of the greatest of all time.

Dan Hardy was the latest man to get the call-out treatment from Gall and, yet again, we saw how Gall is not only issuing challenges to fascinating potential opponents but he is picking realistically.

We're too accustomed to seeing overeager youngsters claim to be ready for a title shot and get dismissed by fight fans as a joke.

Gall is not doing that.

He's naming guys he could feasibly fight and bouts that we, as interested spectators, want to see go down.

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"I think I’m going to drop down to 155lbs. I’m a little young in the tooth for 170lbs. I think I go down there, I’m the champion in a couple years," Gall said on Saturday night.

"I’d like to welcome back Dan Hardy. He says he wants to come back for a marquee fight — I think I’m a marquee fight right now. I’d be honoured to fight him, he’s a legend, I’m a big fan. I’d love to fight Dan Hardy."

It was perfect. It made sense. It was well thought-out and appealed to the curious nature of fight fans which, ultimately, is the most basic quality of fighters who eventually develop into successful pay-per-view draws.

Mickey Gall gets it and he's still not seen his 25th birthday.

The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt is in for a lengthy and limitless career.

And he's making all the right moves.