Mickey Gall’s statement victory over Sage Northcutt on Saturday sets him up for rapid rise (w/Cervantes Analysis)

By Jonathan Cervantes, MMATorch contributor

Mickey Gall vs. Sage Northcutt (photo credit Kyle Terada © USA Today Sports)

After defeating Sage Northcutt at UFC on Fox 22, Mickey Gall has big plans for his future in the UFC.

Speaking with Brian Stann after the fight, Gall praised Northcutt for his skills and was happy to have faced a more competitive contender. “He’ll give you a heck of a first round,” he said. “[He’s] very explosive, very athletic. I wanted to cook him a little bit, get him on the ground, lay on him a little bit, suck his energy. I feel much better [about this matchup]. It was more of a fight. It wasn’t a total domination. I got my eyes blackened. Sage is a tough kid; he’s a UFC-caliber guy. He’s a step up in competition.”

Gall previously defeated C.M. Punk, which raised his profile, but didn’t exactly prove anything about his UFC-caliber skills.

Gall also said he’d like to follow in Conor McGregor’s footsteps by dropping down in weight and conquering another division within a few years. “I think I’m going to drop down to 155,” he said. “I think I’m a little young for 170. I think if I go down there I’m the champion in a couple years. I’d like to go down. I like the way Conor did that. I want to be the best in a weight class. I think at 155 I’ll have that belt in a couple years. I got in this to be the best in the world. Whoever, whenever, whatever.”

Gall defeated Northcutt via rear naked choke in the second round and expressed interest in fighting Dan Hardy in his next bout, another high-profile opponent.

Cervantes Analysis: Northcutt was definitely a more formidable opponent than C.M. Punk, but Gall still needs to prove he can hang with the top of the division before he thinks about jumping weight classes. I’m not sure why he called out Dan Hardy – who hasn’t fought since 2013 – because I don’t think a victory over Hardy does anything in 2016. Maybe after he wins another two or three fights in dominant fashion, the UFC will give him a fight with a top 15 fighter. Maybe Matt Brown?

NOW CHECK OUT THIS RECENT NEWS UPDATE: Cyborg says there are no standards for who gets title fights in UFC, upset she’s not in inaugural Featherweight Title fight (w/Cervantes Analysis)

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