That’s the amount of time Mickey Gall believes it’ll take him to become champion, and his plan is simple:
“Just win, baby,” he said. “That's it. That's all I got to do. I got to win this fight and win the next fight, and win the next fight, and win my next fight, and win my next fight. And then you know, until I get so far, I get the title shot and I'm going to win that.”
So far, Gall has made good on that plan. With a 4-1 record in the UFC, the New Jersey-native has made a habit of finishing his opponents by rear naked choke. It’s not something he specifically looks for when the fight goes to the ground, but isn’t a coincidence either.
“It's a part of me,” Gall said. “I learned how to walk. I learned how to choke the neck. That's just a part of me.”
The man standing in front Gall, UFC veteran Diego Sanchez, presents his toughest task yet. In 39 career fights, Sanchez has never been submitted. Even so, Gall guarantees he’ll break that streak or secure his first knockout win in T-Mobile Arena.
We caught up with Gall to talk about what makes him so confident and how he has grown throughout his career.
UFC: You said on Instagram you're going to finish (Sanchez) in the first round. What makes you think that you have the ability to make that happen?
Mickey Gall: Well I know I have the ability because that's what I do every day. I perfect that and make sure of that. What makes me think that? Just everything. Knowing what I could, knowing what I'm up against. I'm very confident I'll render my opponent unconscious in the first round. Whether it's knockout or submission.
UFC: How have you evolved since your first few fights to where you're at?
MG: Dramatically. I realized that I knew right away what a cool opportunity I got. So I know not to squander that. I made sure that I'm getting as good as I can as fast I can. Do it very serious. I have a great group around me that's helped me. My work ethic plus the all the great people around me, I'm going to be a f****** champ.
UFC: Diego Sanchez has a lot of fights under his belt. What makes him a dangerous opponent and how do you go about managing that?
MG: I'm not concerned of what he's going to do. It's what I'm going to do to him. Diego Sanchez is a legend and he's put on amazing fights for years. First, the Ultimate Fighter a winner. But I guarantee that I will either have my first knockout or I'll be the first guy to submit Diego Sanchez Saturday night.
UFC: What about yourself makes you feel that confidence?
MG: I know myself. I know what I could do. I know what I do every day. I work on it every day. Almost every move I make is to make me a better fighter and I'm doing the right things so that brings me confidence. Knowing that I'm not f****** off and being you know being an idiot. I'm not. I'm a smart guy and I'm doing the right things I'm putting in work and I know this is my window and I'm going to make the make the most out of it. I'm going to seize it.
UFC: People will point out the experience gap. Does that matter to you?
MG: It's something you'd be silly not to think about. I know my fight IQ is well above my fight experience. I train with Yves Edwards who has had 80 fights, and he tells me that too, that my fight IQ is way above where the amount of fights I have. I'm different. I'm a smart guy and I do the right things. I do the Right things. I'll do the right things in the cage too.
Zac Pacleb is a writer and producer for UFC.com. You can follow him on Twitter @ZacPacleb.