CM Punk’s second MMA fight at UFC 225 went about as well as can be expected considering his age and general lack of skill. His opponent Mike “The Truth” Jackson controlled him easily across three rounds, but even making it to the final bell was an accomplishment of sorts for the former WWE superstar.
The bout wasn’t without its controversy though, with commentator Joe Rogan openly questioning whether Jackson was carrying Punk - as in, he was letting Punk survive rather than finishing him off. That question was repeated at the post fight press conference, and UFC president Dana White wasn’t shy to say Jackson looked like he was playing with his food.
“Michael Jackson, I’m not happy with,” White declared. “This guy was acting like a goofball tonight. You get this opportunity to fight CM Punk and you’re doing like bolo punches to the body on top? It never looked like he was trying to finish the fight ever, right? Looked like he could have finished the fight a few times. Never tried.”
”I don’t know what that guy did for a living before we gave him this shot, but whatever it was he needs to go back and do that again. He’s 0-2 as far as I’m concerned ... That’s it for his UFC career. I wouldn’t put that kid in the Contender Series.”
Jackson took to Twitter later in the night to defend himself.
You were punching without even looking at Phil (looking to the side). That 'appeared' rude.— El Rob (@ElRob9) June 10, 2018
I was looking at my corner for instruction https://t.co/zIDNYJWQBM— Mike Jackson, Esq. (@TheTruthJackson) June 10, 2018
I hit him with punches and elbows and he stayed standing. I didn’t want to run in and get caught with dumb shit. Imagine being the guy who loses to CM Punk! https://t.co/DNgztswpzH— Mike Jackson, Esq. (@TheTruthJackson) June 10, 2018
”I hit him with some heat and looked to finish the fight in the 1st, but he kept coming,” he added in an Instagram post. “I made the right play and played it smart, knowing the circumstances I was in and what was at stake if I were to lose. As I anticipated, I played the heel coming into Chicago, and looks like I’ll continue being the heel once I’m gone.”
Last night was an incredible experience that I’ll never forget. Let me start by thanking @cmpunk for the opportunity, I’m aware I wouldn’t be here without him. As I’ve said in multiple times, and to the man himself, I have nothing but respect for Phil. He has done something that many would NEVER consider doing; his heart could fill the United Center. As far as the fight, I hit him with some heat and looked to finish the fight in the 1st, but he kept coming. I made the right play and played it smart, knowing the circumstances I was in and what was at stake if I were to lose. As I anticipated, I played the heel coming into Chicago, and looks like I’ll continue being the heel once I’m gone. Many have misinterpreted what I said in my post fight interview with @joerogan, that’s your opinion and I can’t help that. Much respect to Phil, @dukeroufus, and his team at @roufusport. And thank you to @krubobperez, @shonuffstuff, @pjmiletich, and the rest of my team for the preparation leading up to #TruthvsPunk. #UFC225
What do you think? Does Mike Jackson deserve all the heat he’s getting online or do you think he’s telling “The Truth”?