Mike Jackson is looking to get back into the Octagon. And, when he does, the 34-year-old is looking to fight better competition than CM Punk. The welterweight lost his first pro fight and UFC debut to Mickey Gall. Then, he dominated Punk at UFC 225 to get his first pro win and first UFC win.
Now, he is more than ready for another fight in the UFC and wants to showcase what he can do against a tough opponent.
“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.”
Although Jackson dominated Punk for all three rounds and won a decision with all three judges scoring it 30-26, he was heavily criticized for not being able to finish Punk. However, Jackson is fine with that and wouldn’t do anything differently in the fight if he had to do it again.
“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.”
It is closing in on a year since he last fought in the UFC as injuries have kept him away from the Octagon. But, Jackson is training and looking to return soon. When he does return he wants someone with around the same experience as him, but a higher skill level than Punk.
“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. 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.”