Mickey Gall and His Golden Ticket into the UFC
Mickey Gall was a name unheard of in the mixed martial arts world outside of the New York Tri-State area up until recently. That is, until he made the front page of every notable mixed martial arts website for two weeks straight in early January. So how did a small town kid from New Jersey become the biggest name in UFC news? Simple – a killer social media and self-marketing strategy.
Trained in Brazilian jiu-jitsu at Gracie New Jersey under David Adiv (whom Rickson Gracie has proclaimed, “The Brain”), and under Jim and Dan Miller (both UFC veterans) at Miller Brother’s MMA, Gall had potential but could never have expected a UFC opportunity to come as soon as after the first fight of his professional career. After finding out Dana White was going to be in presence at Dead Serious MMA 17 for his pro debut on November 21, 2015 Gall immediately set his game plan:
“Oh. I’m going to call out CM Punk for sure.” It was so obvious to me. That’s the only guy in the UFC for me right now, you know? They needed to find a like record. He couldn’t fight some 9-1 guy. So I go in there, I got a win. He’s 0-0. I’m 1-0. That’s a like record. The commission will approve that. I can fight that dude and make the most of that opportunity.
Gall said in an interview with MMAFighting. It wasn’t until January 2, the night of UFC 195, that the world had any idea as to who Mickey Gall was, however:
Me and my dad were watching the Robbie Lawler vs. Carlos Condit fight and suddenly my face pops up on the previews (for Dana White: Lookin’ for a Fight). We rewound it about 10 times! It’s been nuts! I’ve had three amateur fights. I was 3-0, then I finally got a pro fight in November and that was the one that Dana White happened to be at. Crazy!
This is when Gall struck front-page headlines as “CM Punk’s First Opponent”. Striking the iron while it was hot, Gall kept forward with heavy social media addresses towards CM Punk and Dana White.
Focusing on talent management, Activ8Media highlights the importance of monetizing social media and digital exposure to get the most from your talent; here, Gall seizes his opportunity by doing such. This kept him at the top of MMA news even after releases of McGregor going up a weight class to fight for a second title against Rafael dos Anjos or Holm’s first title defending fight was announced. It wasn’t for weeks after Dana White finally made the announcement in an interview with TSN's "Off The Record" on Jan 13, that Mickey Gall (1-0) would fight in a welterweight bout against Mike Jackson (0-0) on February 6, in Las Vegas for his chance to fight CM Punk, that the news finally slowed down.
Finishing his second professional fight and making an impressive UFC debut beating Mike Jackson in a quick 45 seconds at UFC Fight Night 82, and securing his spot as the man to fight CM Punk, Mickey Gall has only one thing left to do: secure a spot at UFC 200. While Brian Stann, during his announcing of Fight Night 82 said, “The biggest thing in talking to some of [Gall’s] teammates is his humility. They really believe that this opportunity he’s gotten here is a return on his investment, they believe it’s because of his karma. He does the right thing, he’s a high character guy, he’s always there for his friends,” karma is not the only thing that can land Gall a spot at 200. With UFC 200 prospects are starting to make a line up however, his likeability given his social media campaign may just get him there. Filling a card for 200 may get tricky once it comes to setting the earlier fights and with the over-a-year-build up of WWE superstar CM Punk signing with the UFC why not blow out the entire card with the much-ado Punk bout? Mickey Gall certainly seems ready.
Activ8Media is an industry-leading digital marketing agency specializing in brand activation, sports marketing, UFC advertising and social media for businesses, athletes and entertainers.