UFC welterweight Mike Jackson is no longer willing to take on any opponents of CM Punk’s caliber.
Welterweight fighter Mike Jackson so far holds a lackluster record in the UFC. With a 1-1 slate, his last fight was against CM Punk, whom he defeated via unanimous decision at UFC 225 last June in Chicago.
As he now moves forward in his career, which he revealed back in October is still with the UFC, Jackson says he is no longer accepting any fights against an opponent like Punk and feels he deserves better caliber opponents.
“Look, I’m not fighting CM Punk anymore. That’s long gone,” Jackson told MMA Junkie in a recent interview at the UFC Performance Institute. “The level of competition is going to be far, far more superior.”
While many were expecting Punk to perform the way he did, Jackson was criticized for not finishing the former WWE star. Looking back, Jackson says he would’ve fought the exact same way.
“I wouldn’t have changed it,” he 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.”
Jackson has been sidelined due to injuries, and has yet to book his next fight. But he is already taking the necessary steps in preparation for the quality of competition that lies ahead of him.
“I want to be the best that I can be,” he 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.
“I feel amazing right now. I feel like I’m ready to go,” Jackson added. “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.”
Jackson currently holds a record of 1-1. Prior to facing Punk, he fought Mickey Gall for his UFC debut in February 2016. He lost via rear-naked choke submission inside 45 seconds of action.