But the Houston-based welterweight nicknamed “The Truth” is ready to move on to bigger challenges than the one a former pro wrestler with minimal real fighting experience was able to provide.
“Look, I’m not fighting CM Punk anymore,” Jackson told MMA Junkie during a recent visit to the UFC Performance Institute. “That’s long gone. The level of competition is going to be far, far more superior.”
The fight this past June at UFC 225 won’t exactly go down as one of the greatest battles in MMA history. Punk, a former WWE star, didn’t look like he belonged anywhere near a major-league MMA event. Jackson, for his part, dominated the bout and won bu unanimous decision.
Afterward, Jackson was criticized for not putting Punk away, and some accused him of showboating. But with nearly a year to think things over, Jackson says he wouldn’t have done a single thing differently.
“I wouldn’t have changed it,” Jackson said. “And I stay by what I said. I knew what he was there for and I just – man, I’m telling you he threw that punch at me, he threw the first two punches, and I was just instantly like, ‘He don’t belong in here.’ And it’s not a knock on him, and I know some people will take offense to that. But it’s just the reality of what it is. I couldn’t take that from him. I stand by that. I’m glad I did what I did.”
Injuries have kept Jackson from returning to the octagon since the Punk bout. But he knows if he’s going to hang against actual UFC-quality fighters, he’s going to have to up his game, and that’s why he’s been traveling to places like the UFC PI as he gets back into top-flight condition.
“I want to be the best that I can be,” Jackson said. “If I’m going to really try this out, if I’m really going to go forward, I want to be not the best, but as healthy as I can when I’m going against a killer.”
Jackson hopes to be able to fight again sometime over the next few months, ideally against someone with a similar level of cage experience.
“I feel amazing right now. I feel like I’m ready to go. So whenever they give me the call, hopefully they give me something in the next few months and I feel it’s going to be the same quality of opponent, a guy with four, five fights in MMA, and I’m cool with that. We get that win and we just keep double downing. We’re in Vegas, baby – we double down and see how long we can ride this wave.”
For more on Jackson, check out the video above.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Mike Jackson ready for 'far more superior competition' than CM Punk