Mike Jackson on CM Punk fight: “I never wanted to hurt the guy”

CM Punk, Mike Jackson

Last Saturday night, in the opening bout of the UFC 225 main card, Mike Jackson authored a decisive decision defeat of former pro wrestler CM Punk. Despite the lopsided nature of his win, however, Jackson found himself on the receiving end of some serious backlash from UFC President Dana White, who seemed to be angry that Jackson didn’t take more risks in attempt to finish his foe.

Speaking on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, Mike Jackson acknowledged that he was perhaps not as aggressive as he could have been. He also divulged that he was worried what a loss to CM Punk might do to his reputation, and that he didn’t want to give the outmatched pro wrestler any long-term damage.

“I was going out there to get the first-round knockout,” Jackson said (via MMAMania). “I told people beforehand, CM Punk, he’s a tough cat. I landed some solid shots, I rocked him. I landed some solid elbows and I hurt him, but he never went to the ground.

“For me, I am not going to run in and try to get a finish on someone, get caught with something silly and then I’m a meme forever in MMA,” he continued. “I played the smart role and I kept my distance. After the first round, he didn’t go down so I was like, well, I didn’t get the first-round knockout. Plan B was just to beat him up. And I told everybody beforehand that all I wanted to do was to beat him up nice enough to where he doesn’t want to do this anymore. I never wanted to hurt the guy.

“What I learned is that Dana White and MMA fans, you guys are savages, man. It’s like, they wanted me to give this dude some severe CTE. And I was like, this guy has a family to feed, he has someone to go home to. I would feel bad. I sent him to the emergency room with just the cuts and bruises to his face, and they wanted me to give this dude severe brain damage. I’m not about that life. I guess fighting really isn’t for me, I don’t have that savageness like I used to when I was younger.”

What do you think of these comments from Mike Jackson?

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/12/2018.