After seven years as a professional mixed martial artist, New Jersey’s Mickey Gall is now calling Florida home.
The 30-year-old lost his most recent outing at UFC Vegas 44 in December of last year. It was a decision loss to Alex Morono, but in the process, he met one of the most recognized coaches in the game, Henri Hooft, the head trainer at Sanford MMA and the rest seems to be history.
Mickey Gall Details Training at Sanford MMA
“Henri Hooft, who is probably the head honcho at the gym at my last fight invited me down and I’d be an idiot not to come check it out,” Gall told James Lynch for MMASucka. “So I came down thinking, I’ve got a one-way ticket, I was like I’ll keep it open-ended, maybe I’ll do one week, maybe two weeks, maybe three weeks? Two days of training here and I was like, I can’t leave. I’d be doing myself a disservice leaving. Other than my home gym at Gracie New Jersey, it’s been the best environment of any team I’ve been around, it’s just such a cohesive unit.
All the coaches are in cahoots working together cohesively, the people on the mats — so much talent. I’m going with UFC, Bellator guys, champions every day. I’d just be doing myself a disservice going back to Jersey, rockin how I had been. It’s hard, I had to leave my family up there and my teammates and team who’s like family up there, but I think this is the best move for me in my career. I’m just so happy down here, I’m able to sharpen my metal and test my metal against some sharp and battle-tested guys. This is definitely gonna be the best version of me and for the next 10-years or so, this is gonna be my home.”
On April 9, at UFC 273, Gall will step inside the Octagon for the first time in 2022 as he faces the 7-1-1, Mike Malott. This will be Malott’s Octagon debut, as the Canadian earned a UFC contract with a 39-second submission victory at a Contender Series event last October.
The 30-year-old’s lone loss came at the hands of fellow UFC fighter, Hakeem Dawodu at WSOF 14 back in 2014. Despite being on the scene for as long as he has, Gall needed to utilize Google in order to familiarize himself with Malott.
“I wasn’t familiar with him at all,” Gall stated. “They sent the name, I accepted, then I went and looked him up and I was like cool. I did actually see one of his fights before. He fought a friend of mine and he’s good. I think he’s very similar to me, where he has good grappling and jiu-jitsu, likes to strike a little bit. I think it’s also cool because the fight’s always with yourself and with someone similar to me, but I think I’m a few levels up on him everywhere.
These regional guys probably watch me on TV and think, shit sweet I could beat him because they’ve seen me as a 1-0 fighter. But growing up in this UFC nuclear terranium, it made me a different kind of hard, it made me a different kind of tough and made me develop and take my losses on the big stage and level up and feel that shit and really have to step my game up. So when these regional guys really get to feel me and they train with me, they feel the difference, they’re mind fucked, because they might actually believe that they could’ve done something to me, but then when they actually feel me, they feel me, they feel it’s a different level. So I think that’s gonna get shown in the cage on April 9.”
Having spent his full camp at Sanford MMA, Gall truly believes he can finish this fight in whatever fashion he wants. The one thing he knows for certain though is that he’s ‘ready to go.’
“Whichever way I want. I could hit him a few times, take him down and pound him. I could hit him and he could go to sleep. I could defend his wrestling and do some bad shit to him. I could defend his strikes and do some bad shit to him. I’ve been preparing with guys who I believe are better than him in all places. I’ve been going with guys like Impa [Kasanganay], who I don’t think you’re going to find a stronger guy than him. I’ve been going with guys who have better jiu-jitsu and myself, I have better jiu-jitsu. My striking’s gonna be faster and sharper than my opponents and this whole gym has a lot of guys who are gonna be faster and sharper. I’ve been getting some good rounds with some tough Jamaicans down here man. I’m telling you everybody’s a stud. Aung’s [La N Sang] been helping me a lot, [Aaron] Stroud and Hooft, just everybody man. I’m really grateful and coach [Greg] Jones who runs some great wrestling practices, my wrestling is gonna be sharp. I’ve been focusing a lot on that for years and I’m just rearing and ready to go.”