Every fighter has his/her own pre-fight rituals. Some will spend their down-time playing video games, some just flat out want to relax. Mike “the Truth” Jackson is more unique still. Ahead of UFC Open workouts at the Chicago Theatre, which Jackson would not attend, he has been sent on a goose-chase and found himself on the short end of a long list of chores.
“Can you meet me at the nail shop?” Jackson texted me while I was headed to the hotel.
Apparently, Jackson needed a pedicure ahead of his fight with Phil Brooks which opens the UFC 225 Pay Per View card this Saturday in Chicago, Illinois. It’s been a minute so I’m due for a pedi myself. Off to Erie Street I go.
I walk in and Jackson is in the back getting his eyebrows waxed. Grooming is clearly high-priority for this man. We chat for a few minutes about professional boxing and how his earlier interviews went. I compliment his watch while he compliments my sunglasses.
He couldn’t be more relaxed, as if he doesn’t have a care in the world, or if he does he is doing a damn good job at hiding it.
We move over to get the pedis started. That’s when everything gets a bit more fun. The advantage of interviewing Jackson a bit later is that I can avoid asking questions that others have already asked. Outside of the obvious questions about his fight with Brooks, I get to talk about his background in MMA media coverage. He insists on knowing where he can get the best Chicago deep-dish pizza for his post fight party (I offer little help as an east coast implant with a predilection for New York-style pizza).
Jackson has no problem being his biggest hype man. He also knows that the city of Chicago is probably rooting against him this weekend. He knows he is here for a job and that is to put on a show and get a victory on Saturday night.
Check out the full interview above.