Welterweight Mike Jackson waited for UFC President Dana White after UFC 225, hoping to thank him personally for another shot in the octagon.
It was just after Jackson’s (1-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) win over former WWE star Phil “CM Punk” Brooks (0-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC), and he wanted to show his gratitude to the UFC executive and ask for some advice backstage at United Center in Chicago. But White was busy, so he caught a shuttle back to the host hotel after his lopsided unanimous-decision win.
Jackson was just about to dig into a slice at Pizzeria Due when his phone began to vibrate with Twitter mentions. Then he discovered what White said.
“I’m just like, ‘What?’” Jackson told MMAjunkie. “I couldn’t even enjoy my pizza.”
Since that moment, Jackson has been on a mission to figure out how an experience he thought would be celebrated came to be maligned so viciously by White, who called him a “complete (expletive) idiot” and said he would never again fight in the UFC (check out his post-event comments above).
White ranted to reporters after the pay-per-view event while saying Jackson was “acting like a goofball” during the fight.
“You get this opportunity to fight CM Punk, and you’re doing, like, bolo punches to the body on top,” the UFC exec said. “Never looked like he was trying to finish the fight ever. 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 the shot, but whatever it was, he needs to go back and do that again. He’s 0-2 as far as I’m concerned.”
Jackson believes White may have had a financial incentive to back Punk. With a win, he said, Punk could have returned to the octagon to make the promotion more money.
“I went out there and cooked his man,” Jackson said. “I don’t know if they had investment in him to win the fight, but look, he’s a cash cow. If he would have won, they would have given him another fight, and he would have made them a lot of money. And I ended that train. But I told people what I was going to do.”
Jackson, though, still believes his work was misinterpreted by White. He also believes he had no reason to dole out excess punishment to Punk despite an obvious superiority in the fight. When Punk survived his punches, he resolved to outclass the former WWE champion every minute they were in the octagon.
“I wasn’t showboating,” Jackson said. “I didn’t know how many more fights I was going to have in the UFC, so I wanted to go out there and cook him – and that’s what I did. I got all 15 minutes, and good for him.
“I hope this is going to be his last fight, so I wanted to go out there and maximize his experience, as well, and give him the most time. I gave him the most time, as well.
“People are savages, man. They want me to go out there and give this dude brain damage. I could have done a lot of damage to him, and I didn’t want to do that. I hit him, and he didn’t go out, and I was like, ‘All rright, he’s a tough cat.’ So let me not hit him with those same kind of shots anymore. I carried him for three rounds, and I cooked him. You saw his face. It looked chopped beef in there.”
Since the avalanche of criticism, Jackson has pinpointed two things about his style that gave the impression he wasn’t fighting in earnest: When he looked away from Punk and punched, and when he wound up his punches in top position.
Jackson didn’t necessarily plan to fight that way. But given how Punk was responding, he figured it was the best way to keep scoring with his strikes.
Jackson said there was a moment during his ground and pound when his corner told him something, and he threw a punch down at Punk at the same time. The punch landed, and he had a revelation.
“I was like, well, if I’m throwing punches when I’m not looking and they’re landing, and I look at him and he’s defending those, how about I just not look and hit him?” Jackson said.
Those big punches? They were another way to misdirect Punk.
“They landed because he didn’t know where they were going, and that was the objective,” Jackson said. “I’m an efficient striker. I’m not sitting here and trying to punch myself out.”
Whether he was looking at Punk or not, Jackson said he was doing his job.
“When did not looking at someone and hitting them in the face become disrespectful?” he said. “Look, we’re fighting. I punched you in the face. Is that not disrespectful enough?”
After the fight, Jackson said he gave his respect to Punk. He had no animosity toward the 39-year-old MMA neophyte, no matter what he’d said in the buildup to the meeting.
“I was in there for one reason and one reason only: I was in there to show CM Punk that he wasn’t at my level, and when you look at the 30-26s on the scorecard, when you look at his face and my face, it’s proven that he’s not on my level,” Jackson said. “And that’s not a disrespectful thing.”
Jackson would like to explain that to White in person. He’s not sure he’ll be able to, but he at least wants the chance to defend himself in person. The way things played out, he never got a chance to advocate for himself.
As of Monday afternoon, Jackson hadn’t received a release letter from the UFC, which he said signed him to a second, separate multi-fight deal after his first octagon appearance ended in a rout against Mickey Gall.
Jackson’s goal was to leverage a good performance against Punk into another UFC fight. Now, he just wants some understanding.
“I reached out,” Jackson said. “Hopefully, (White) gives me a call back or text this week and we can discuss this, because he used his platform to (expletive) on me, and it’s just not right.”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Mike Jackson denies showboating against CM Punk, wants to explain himself to Dana White