CM Punk’s second try in the UFC went better than his first, but was a reminder that the former pro wrestler has a long way to go before he can be considered worthy of competing in the Octagon. Punk was manhandled by Mike “The Truth” Jackson in the UFC 225 pay-per-view opener and lost via unanimous decision.
Punk’s second foray into mixed martial arts went about as well as you could expect for a former pro wrestler who had no previous combat sports experience before losing to Mickey Gall back in September of 2016. He was stopped in the first round against Gall and decided to take nearly two years off to train in hopes of having better results when he stepped into the Octagon again.
Facing Mike Jackson, who also lost to Gall in his UFC debut, Punk hoped to showcase an improved skill set. But the only thing we saw was that the 39-year-old had tremendous heart as Jackson playfully out-struck him throughout the 15 minute affair.
With CM Punk chants raining down, Jackson got things rolling with a right hand that caused Punk to close the distance and clinch along the cage. Jackson separated and showcased a significant advantage with his striking due to his experience as a professional boxer and kickboxer. Punk failed on several takedown attempts until finally securing one with 30 seconds left in the round. But it was painfully clear that the only chance he would have was by keeping Jackson pinned to the canvas.
The second frame saw Punk get rocked by a Jackson combination and that led to a takedown by “The Truth.” From inside his guard, Jackson landed some ground and pound while showboating and leaving Punk’s face a bloody mess. To make matters worse, Jackson landed multiple strikes without even looking at the former WWE champion. It was evident that Punk was out of his league and he could only hope to make it to the final bell. And with a little help from Jackson, he would.
The third round found a completely gassed Punk still fighting with his heart but his conditioning wasn’t up to par. Jackson toyed with him throughout the final frame and dished out punishment at will. It was a casual beating being served by Jackson and Punk couldn’t do anything about it. Strangely enough, Jackson never cranked up the pressure to secure the knockout and instead chose to cruise to an easy 30-26 score from all three judges.
If there was a silver lining, it was that Punk showcased tremendous heart and made it to the final bell. But it’s obvious that he’s not ready for the big stage.
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