Asking For What You Want

There is a great clip on YouTube from the UFC’s series, Dana White Looking for a Fight of current UFC fighter Mickey Gall calling out CM Punk.

The show is Dana and Matt Serra traveling the US, visiting smaller promotions and scouting up and coming MMA fighters. Mickey Gall got his start on an episode showcasing a small promotion in Lousiana.

Mickey wins his first professional figh convincingly and then has a chance to jump on the microphone.

This fight happened shortly after the UFC announced that WWE star CM Punk would be fighting in the UFC, but no opponent had been decided on yet. Instead of thanking his mom, Mickey seizes the opportunity to talk in front of Dana White and asks for a fight with CM Punk.

Less than a year later, Mickey Gall easily submitted CM Punk in front of 18,000 fans in Cleveland and shot into prominence in the UFC.

What I like about this video, is how it shows the power of simply asking for what you want.

Most of us don’t have opportunities to ask CEO’s or commissioners for opportunities, but there are lots of opportunities where we have opportunities available to us that we pass up on because we are afraid to ask.

Mickey Gall has the gall (I couldn’t help myself) to simply ask for what he wants. But it is not just him asking that gets him the opportunity, there are three deeper and important pieces to the puzzle.


The first part of why this ask worked is credibility. Mickey just won his professional debut in the first round. He manhandled his opponent. That already has Dana intrigued.

There are lots of young people who get up at Q&A’s and ask powerful people for shit, it doesn’t work because they haven’t shown anything. If Mickey Gall had gone to a Q and A and asked Dana White to fight CM Punk for a fight, it never would have happened. Dana was interested because he just saw Mickey kicking someone’s ass.


The second piece is empathy. Not the mushy, crying because your friend’s dog died kind of empathy, but the ability to see from the perspective of others. What Mickey wanted is to fight in the UFC. He specifically asked for a fight with CM Punk, because he understood that finding a compelling opponent was a challenge that Dana was facing.

Earning It

Mickey got Dana interested in the idea because he won impressively and asked to help solve Dana’s problem. But that wasn’t all it took. He had to show he was up for the challenge and win a fight against a more credible fighter. He went out and beat Mike Jackson a few months later and earned the opportunity to fight CM Punk on the main card in Cleaveland.

Today Mickey Gall has established himself as a popular UFC fighter, in large part because of his ability to ask for what he wants and back it up with action.

His story is a great example for people who struggle to ask for what they want, or for the smaller group of people who ask, but don’t have success because they don’t have credibility or empathy.

The simple recipe to getting what you want:

  1. Prove that you are credible by working hard and creating.
  2. Understand the perspective and needs of people you are making the ask of and assertively ask.
  3. Follow through and earn the opportunity when you get the chance.

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