When the UFC returns to Chicago, all signs point to one CM Punk returning with it. And if everything pans out, it’ll be Mike ‘The Truth’ Jackson meeting Punk in the octagon that night.
A couple of weeks back, rumors began to swirl that negotiations were currently on-going for CM Punk’s return to the octagon. Punk hasn’t set foot in the cage since a loss to Mickey Gall at UFC 203 in 2016, but with a PPV in his home town (UFC 225), a return makes all the sense in the world. The opponent being discussed for his return is none other than a man who also has had his only fight against Gall: Mike Jackson. We sat down with ‘The Truth’ and discussed the fight, how negotiations were going, as well as his photography career and him training out of Houston with Derrick Lewis and others.
First off, the Punk fight. Jackson said that while negotiations were still ongoing, they were “going good.” As in, close to completion. In fact, they may actually be close to sending out the contracts for the bout to become official.
“I mean the fight is in June,” he explained. “So it’s kind of a waiting game until things get done on his end; and then they’ll just send out the paperwork.”
Some fighters are typically not always cool with fighting in their opponent’s hometown or country. ‘The Truth,’ however, understands the business side of the fighting game and welcomed the opportunity to fight in Chicago.
“Logically it only makes sense to do it in his hometown, why would you put it anywhere else? That’s the best place to maximize profits on his name.”
Many people never understood the Gall match-up to begin with, and always thought it should’ve been Jackson in his place from the get-go. Jackson still had more experience than the former pro wrestler with fighting, mostly in boxing and kickboxing. Yet like Punk, he was 0-0 in MMA.
“With my lack of pro MMA fights, that should’ve been the fight to begin with,” Jackson said. Though he did concede that both of them fighting Gall gives the fight a bit of a subplot. “It actually probably made more sense that way, giving the fight a backstory itself.”
It’s no mystery that Mike Jackson that trains out of Houston with high-level fighters such as heavyweight fighter Derrick Lewis. Jackson has trained for many years with this team, and isn’t worried about his training.
“I spend my time training, but I also balance it with other things like covering the sport with my photography,” he said. People have this misconception with training that guys just stick in the gym and do it all the time. That’s not the case.” Jackson had always been on the media side prior to fighting Gall, and was back there again to take back his role as a photographer. However he’s also stayed active and trained.
“I’ve always trained with high-level guys, you need them in this sport to get better. You can’t just train with guys around your skill level, or below your skill level if you want to get better in this sport,” Jackson added.
When asked for a prediction on his bout with Punk, Jackson was confident. “It’s about beating this dude up. He was a reckless with some of his talk calling me a can,” Jackson continued. “So now I’ve gotta go in there and give this man an a**-whooping.”
As for his official prediction? Jackson was clear: “I think I knock him out in the second round.”
UFC 225 goes down June 9 in Chicago, Illinois. The card is headlined by a rematch for the middleweight championship between Australia’s Robert Whittaker and the ‘Soldier of God’ Yoel Romero.