Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweights CM Punk and Mike Jackson looked to score their first career victory last night (June 9, 2018) at UFC 225 inside the United Center in Chicago, Illinoise.
It is endlessly funny that this bout was put on the main card over fighters like Joe Benavidez, Alistair Overeem, and Clay Guida — among many others in the insanely stacked preliminary card — but business is business. Despite his previous domination at the hands of Mickey Gall, Punk’s name remained a valuable addition to the fight card. Alternatively, Jackson is the more experienced man, but he also was smashed by Gall in short order. Essentially, UFC 225 featured a match up of dedicated hobbyists, but it’s my job to recap all the action anyway.
Punk opened and attempted to work behind the jab, but Jackson stung him early with sharper punches. Punk responded with a flurry that briefly hurt Jackson, and he tried to follow up with a clinch takedown. Jackson resisted, created space, and landed more right hands.
Credit to Punk, he kept after it. Jackson repeatedly denied takedowns, but Punk was able to keep him trapped along the fence a decent amount of time. Punk was repeatedly stuck with the jab, but he answered with ugly flurries.
Punk finally landed a takedown in the final 30 seconds, making it a reasonably close round.
After a brief clinch exchange, Jackson began to let his combinations fly, stunning Punk with a right hand. He landed some nice body shots after, but Punk essentially pulled guard with a weak guillotine attempt, which probably saved him from the knockout.
It did not, however, save him from damage. Punk showed very little ability to defend himself from the bottom, getting pierced up by Jackson’s straight shots from within the guard. Jackson made no attempt to pass, happy to completely batter the professional wrestler from guard.
Punk was bloodied and torn up by the end of the round.
Punk was able to force a clinch exchange briefly to open the third, but it was clear that his gas tank was failing him. Luckily for Punk, Jackson was fatigued as well, meaning he never pushed all that hard for the finish. Instead, he continued to peck and poke at Punk, doing damage all the while.
It didn’t result in a finish just a dominant decision victory.
The opening five minutes were close but allowed Jackson to show his technical advantages. “The Truth” remained relaxed throughout the fight, picking his shots and slowly breaking down his older opponent. It was a smart strategy, and if Jackson had actually pushed the pace late, it would have resulted in a finish.
Jackson’s MMA defense is not great, and his overall grappling is subpar, but his offensive boxing was pretty solid! Frankly, that’s a recipe to get smashed by most UFC Welterweights, but Jackson is welcome to give it a shot opposite more skilled opposition.
As for Punk, he didn’t get completely demolished. He genuinely landed some decent punches and actually scored a takedown in the opening frame, using aggression to keep Jackson on his toes. More than anything else, Punk displayed plenty of heart in taking a beating to survive to final bell.
Even if Jackson didn’t chase the finish that hard, Punk had many, many opportunities to roll over and accept the stoppage. If nothing else, that’s something to hang his hat on.
Last night, Mike Jackson whooped on CM Punk for three rounds. Is there any chance Jackson picks up another UFC victory?
For complete UFC 225: “Whittaker vs. Romero 2” results and play-by-play, click HERE!