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Dana White says CM Punk ‘probably’ to make UFC debut in June at UFC 199

(Sam Morris/AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

The parameters surrounding former WWE star CM Punk’s UFC debut are finally becoming clear. After confirming earlier this week that the 37-year-old fighter’s first opponent will likely be Mickey Gall, UFC President Dana White said Friday when he thinks the fight might go down.

Dana White says CM Punk will fight Mickey Gall if the latter wins at UFC 196

“The CM Punk fight is probably going to be in June,” White said on Boston’s Toucher & Rich show on Friday. “UFC 199 is what I’m thinking.”

Expectations for Punk, whose real name is Phil Brooks, are high among his fans who haven’t seen Punk in a ring of any kind since he famously walked out of a WWE taping in January 2014. In December of that year Punk announced he had signed with the UFC and had planned his first fight for sometime the next year, but a shoulder injury delayed his debut. If indeed Punk enters the Octagon to fight Gall in June, it will have been 18 months since he signed with the UFC.

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White said that anticipation might make things tough for Punk.

“You know [CM Punk] has never fought, he’s just started training and, you know… this is a tough business to get into,” White said (via on Friday’s program.

On top of that, White said that unlike former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, who also came from the WWE, Punk doesn’t come with the same credentials.

“When Brock Lesnar came into the UFC, you know, he had a serious wrestling pedigree. And not just WWE wrestling, legit collegiate wrestling,” White said. “CM Punk doesn’t have any of that. It’s going to be tough for him.”

(H/t: MMA Fighting)