UFC 217 went down Saturday at New York City’s famed Madison Square Garden. Topping the card were three hotly anticipated title fights, but kicking off the televised prelims on Fox Sports 1 was the man who derailed CM Punk.
Mickey Gall, who had become something of a hype killer after defeating both WWE star CM Punk and Sage Northcutt in the octagon, returned to action Saturday. Opposite him was another product of Dana White’s Lookin’ for a Fight, Randy Brown. Since appearing on the show and signing with the promotion, Brown had gone 3-2 under the UFC banner.
Brown immediately came out and pressed the action, forcing Gall to take evasive action, circling out of harm’s way. Once Brown connected, Gall covered up then bailed, running a few steps then regaining his composure. Gall then went on the offensive, landing his first significant strikes of the round. That led to a clinch along the fence where Brown scored a takedown, landing in side control. Gall then managed to draw Brown into his guard, demonstrating a solid ground game off his back. Brown would back off, then wander back into his guard, where Gall threatened to set up a triangle or arm bar.
Brown, however, managed to score some major ground and pound, dropping hammer fists and elbows and bloodying Gall before the end of the round.
Round two saw Mickey Gall flip the script and take down Brown, only to have Brown set up a omoplata and gogoplata briefly. An illegal upkick then connected, but the ref allowed the action to continue. Gall went to work in side control, using knee-on-belly to try to move to mount, or perhaps take the back. Gall was in control and far from panicking after the early adversity, a good sign from a young prospect. Gall would look to set up a guillotine, but some slick transitions had Brown escape each time — though Gall would finish the round in control.
Round three opened with an uppercut landing from Brown, and Gall was down, eating hammer fists! Gall would survive, and Brown would be caught in his tight closed guard. Now gushing blood from a cut on the head, Gall would try to hang on to his opponent, looking to either earn a standup or escape. Unable to break free Gall — with a blatant fence grab — was able to sit up enough to lock in an arm-in guillotine, but Brown would pop free. He’d then drop some elbows, and ride out the round in control until standing up in the final seconds, which led to them exchanging right to the bell and a little past it.
Just like that, it was Gall whose hype train was derailed, as he suffered the first loss of his career.
Randy Brown def. Mickey Gall by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)