After coming up short in his mixed martial arts (MMA) debut against Mickey Gall at UFC 203 back in 2016, CM Punk earned himself another chance to prove his worth inside the Octagon as he was booked to face Mike Jackson at UFC 225 on June 9, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.
It’s a fight Jackson himself had been lobbying for over the last two years, getting his wish to make good on his own UFC sophomore effort after coming up short against Gall, as well. The root of Mike’s urge to take on the former WWE superstar stems from a time Punk — real name Phil Brooks — disrespected him by calling him a “can.”
“It really wasn’t a goal for me, it was just a sign of disrespect from Phil Brooks, and that’s why we are here today. In the build up to the Mickey Gall fight, Phil had the audacity to call me a can. I took that as disrespect,” declared Jackson on a recent edition of The MMA Hour.
“For me, though, I did make my pro debut in UFC and lost to a stud in Mickey Gall, that’s all people know of me, they don’t do their due diligence as a fight fan to look up a little bit about me. I had combat experience beforehand,” he said. “I am still undefeated in boxing and kickboxing with all of my fights coming via knockout. So for someone who has never competed in an unscripted, a pre-determined fight, for that person to call me a can in the fight world is a sign of disrespect. We are in the fight business, and if you disrespect me, and you’re in my weight class, we got to fight.”
As far as Punk getting a second chance inside the Octagon despite getting worked rather easily by Gall (see it), Jackson says Brooks in UFC is all about business for the promotion since the former WWE star can bring in viewers. Plus, it’s a chance for the ex-pro wrestler to mark another item off his personal bucket list.
“I don’t really feel UFC wants him to win. I’ve never looked at it from that perspective. If that were the case, they never would’ve put him in there against Mickey Gall. If they really wanted him to win, that wouldn’t have been the fight to give him,” added Jackson. “They would have just been a pre-matched fight prior to that if they were really looking to protect him. I just feel this is a bucket list thing for him, it’s something he wanted to try out and see what happens.”
Dana has been accused of trying to protect his “cash cows.”
Nevertheless, Punk will have the opportunity to get a win inside the world’s toughest combat cage against man who has yet score a pro MMA win, but has numerous victories in other forms of fisticuffs.
A repeat performance of UFC 203, however, could very well signal the end of his short-lived UFC career.