clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

CM Punk’s rumored opponent for UFC 225 really wants to kick his ass

After a tweet some are calling confirmation that Phil “CM Punk” Brooks will return to the Octagon for his second professional mixed martial arts fight at UFC 225 in his hometown of Chicago on June 9, focus has shifted to who the former WWE champion will be facing.

Mike Jackson’s long been rumored as a possible Punk opponent, even losing what was essentially a qualifying bout to the man who quickly submitted the Second City Saint in his 2016 debut fight, Mickey Gall. Jackson told USA Today’s MMAjunkie Radio he’s gotten positive signs from UFC that he’ll finally get a shot at Punk at United Center this summer:

“Without giving too much away, [UFC matchmaker Mick Maynard] gives me the wink-wink and says, ‘Be patient. We’ll see what happens.’”

He’s also looking forward to the fight, having been on the receiving end of a mini-pipe bomb from the Punkster:

“There’s no need to negotiate, because I really just want to hit this dude so bad for calling me a can. I was so offended by that. So now I have to go put him in his own safe space.”

Jackson understands why a 40 year old novice is getting a second shot in UFC after a disasterous first outing - because it will attract eyeballs and help sell tickets and pay-per-view (PPV) at a time when the company needs star power. And he’s willing to do his part with some pro wrestling style promotion.

He gave TMZ Sports a message to send to UFC president Dana White:

“It’s styles, it’s personalities, it’s somebody who’s gonna sell the fight. Let’s make money, Dana!”

And offered MMAjunkie an unflattering (but fair) assessment of Punk’s Octagon game:

“What I don’t think a lot of people factor in is that [Punk has] never been some phenomenal athlete. He’s never been a ‘Rock’ [Dwayne Johnson] type character. He’s just one of these guys that’s just a tough guy.

Then you factor in the mileage that the pro wrestling career put on his body. He’s closing in on 40 years old. And another thing that people don’t grasp is that striking is far harder to learn and master than jiu-jitsu. These are facts.

Now, obviously, you have anomalies like B.J. Penn, who can just look at something and immediately soak it up. [Punk is] not that guy. So I don’t see him progressing and evolving as a fighter in two years.

MMA training is going to be different than professional wrestling training. Not to say they don’t correlate with one another, but it’s different. I just don’t see him picking up the skills needed to defeat me come June 9 at UFC 225.”

Is Jackson’s mic work enough to get him the match? Probably depends on if it’s enough to get you to want to see it.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats