CLEVELAND -- There were no steel chairs to the back, jumps off the top rope or long-winded promos -- just a legitimate, one-sided beatdown suffered by CM Punk.
And, apparently, he loved every second of it.
The mixed martial arts debut of retired wrestling superstar CM Punk, whose real name is Phil Brooks, came and went in a matter of 134 seconds Saturday at UFC 203 in Quicken Loans Arena. The welterweight fight ended at 2:14 of the opening round, when Punk tapped to a rear-naked choke applied by 24-year-old Mickey Gall.
Punk, 37, who left the WWE in 2014 and signed with the UFC despite no fighting background, was taken down immediately after the opening bell. Gall (3-0) quickly moved to full mount and battered Punk with punches to the side of the head. Punk, who spend the last 20 months training at Roufusport in Milwaukee, ultimately gave up his back and then the choke.
Despite the loss, Punk promised to be back in the Octagon. He has said his deal with the UFC is for multiple fights.
"In life, you go big or you go home," Punk said. "I just like to take challenges. This was a hell of a mountain to try and climb. I didn't get to the summit today, but that doesn't mean I'm gonna give up. It doesn't mean I'm gonna stop.
"Obviously, Mickey is a hell of a fighter. I will be back. Believe it or not, this is the most fun I've ever had in my life. Second-best night of my life, behind marrying my wife."
Fighting out of New Brunswick, New Jersey, Gall took advantage of Punk's first steps as a professional fighter. Punk came out in an upright stance and moved aggressively forward. Gall changed levels and put Punk on his back before he had an opportunity to throw a single combination. Gall followed that with punches and elbows from top position, before advancing to side control and then mount.
Gall got the fight with Punk last November, calling for the fight after winning his professional debut on the regional scene. UFC president Dana White was in attendance for Gall's pro debut while filming an internet series.
Gall made his UFC debut in February, defeating Mike Jackson via rear-naked choke in just 45 seconds. The Gall-Punk fight was delayed earlier this year when Punk required back surgery. Gall elected to wait, rather than ask for another fight.
After the win, Gall called out 20-year-old phenom Sage Northcutt (8-1), who is 3-1 in the UFC.
"It [the Punk fight] was a real opportunity for me. With that said, this might sound gimmicky, but I'm no gimmick fighter," Gall said. "I'm for real, and I'm not going f---ing anywhere.
"I've got someone I want next. I want Super Sage Northcutt. I think that boy is corny."