CLEVELAND — CM Punk ratcheted up the intensity ahead of his debut at UFC 203 after an intense face off with opponent Mickey Gall on Friday.
Punk made weight at 170 pounds earlier in the day with Gall coming in at 170.5 pounds before they finally met on the stage before meeting in the Octagon Saturday night.
Gall stepped off the scale first and when Punk came to greet him, the 24-year-old second-time UFC fighter extended his hand as a show of respect.
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Punk refused to shake Gall’s hand and instead just met his opponent with a steely gaze as the two fighters came face-to-face with UFC president Dana White monitoring the situation to ensure things didn’t get physical.
As soon as Punk rebuffed Gall’s offer of sportsmanship, the New Jersey native started talking back to the former WWE superstar and the trash talk ratcheted up in a hurry.
In the lead up to the fight, Punk and Gall have shown respect for one another while each predicting victory on Saturday night. This time around, Punk was done with the pleasantries and he instead met his opponent with a grimace on his face looking ready to fight.
That only fired up Gall even more as he launched into a verbal rebuttal when Punk failed to shake his hand.
After the two fighters broke apart as Gall was pulled off the stage, Punk turned to the raucous crowd and shouted "let’s (expletive) go" as he now stands just 24-hours away from his first bout in the Octagon.
That’s the last time the two welterweights will meet eye-to-eye ahead of Saturday night’s fight as Punk makes his long awaited UFC debut against Gall on the UFC 203 pay-per-view card from the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.