Mickey Gall fights in his home state of New Jersey for the first time when he steps in on short notice to meet Salim Touahri in a welterweight contest at UFC on ESPN 5.
Gall did a nice job of getting himself into the UFC and landing high-profile bouts against CM Punk and Sage Northcutt, both of which were won by Gall via submission. Since those two victories, Gall has gone 1-2. His most recent loss was a second-round TKO loss to Diego Sanchez in March.
After the fight, Gall said that he dealt with failing kidneys during that contest due to a bad weight cut. After the bout, the Nevada State Athletic Commission said that Gall would need to be cleared by a doctor before he could fight again.
Touahri is 0-2 in the UFC. His most recent bout was a split-decision loss to Keita Nakamura in December. Before joining the promotion, the Polish fighter was 10-1 with eight stoppage wins.
This is an interesting matchup for Gall. The fact that he is fighting in his home state and his lackluster performance against Sanchez put a lot of pressure on the 27-year-old to deliver a memorable performance at Prudential Center. The concern about Gall is his health.
The expectation is that Gall is going to come out of his corner with something to prove. If he gets a first-round stoppage, he’ll achieve that goal. If the fight goes past the first five minutes will the issues that plagued him against Sanchez arise again?
Gall probably won’t be released with a loss, but if his health does become a concern, that is something the UFC and the athletic commission will have to take a long look at before booking him again.
UFC on ESPN 5 takes place at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. ESPN broadcasts the entire fight card.
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