UFC 225 Preview
UFC 225 is just around the corner on June 9, and while there may be higher profile fights on this card, none have quite the allure of CM Punk vs. Mike Jackson.
This UFC PPV card is stacked from the bottom to the top more so than any card in recent memory. With many former champions like ex-lightweight champion Raphael Dos Anjos, two ex-heavyweight champions Alistair Overeem and Andrei Arlovski, ex-bantamweight champion and Ronda Rousey assassin Holly Holm, and ex-light-heavyweight champion Rashad Evans fighting on a tremendous card capped off by Yoel Romero challenging Robert Whittaker in the main event for Whittaker's middleweight championship, it all pales in interest level comparison to a match between two 0-1 fighters, CM Punk vs. Mike Jackson.
For those living in a cave, on Mars, with their eyes shut, and their fingers in their ears, former WWE superstar and world champion CM Punk Punk (real name Phil Brooks) will make his second walk to the octagon to take on full-fledged jabroni Mike Jackson. Both men have had only one fight, and both fought the same person, Mickey Gall, and bought saw similar fates, submitting to Gall in the first round to rear naked chokes. Punk's first ever MMA fight against Mickey Gall ended in 2:14 of round one, while Jackson lasted a mere 45 seconds.
Let's back this up and look at the Punk saga from the beginning. On December 6, 2014, in a shocking turn of events, Dana White announced live during UFC 181 Hendricks vs. Lawler, that he had signed a white belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with a 0-0 amateur record to a three-fight million dollar deal. That white belt was CM Punk. White was immediately hit with harsh criticism calling it an insult to the integrity of the sport of MMA. People mocked Punk and claimed he would be protected even stating that his match would be the first openly fixed match in UFC.
People questioned the logistics and nature of signing a completely inexperienced fighter to such a deal. Many UFC fighters were displeased and voiced opinions that not only has Punk never fought at all, he's not even a real athlete! As noted by many, WWE matches are simply performances, albeit athletic versions, but Punk wasn't even a high school athlete. He was a comic book superhero nerd growing up, which admittedly did help him succeed in the world of fake pro wrestling. However, the UFC is real fighting at the highest level on the planet. What was White thinking? Simply put, White saw dollar signs.
Was he wrong? As Stone Cold Steve Austin might say, "hell no." The UFC profited big time as Punk's presence on UFC 203 accounted for double the buy rate of PPV's at the time. The estimated number of buys was nearly 500,000, and in 2016 when the fight happened, most PPV's were often doing much less than half that number. Punk himself profited big time as well collecting a huge payout of $500,000. Most rookie fighters find themselves fighting for $8,000 to show plus another $8,000 to win. To say that many fighters were upset is a vast understatement. Nonetheless, the UFC is a business, and businesses only care about profit, and Punk delivered. The question now becomes, can he deliver again?
It has been nearly 4 years since the beginning of the CM Punk project. He has had one fight which happened nearly two years ago and has largely faded from the limelight. Will CM Punk draw again? In those past two years, CM Punk has grown as a fighter, although no one really knows how much, other than the fact that he earned his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Blue Belt (typically a 2-4 year endeavor). Does that mean his ground game is good enough to defeat a UFC caliber fighter? No. Luckily he's not fighting one of those.
Mike Jackson is a complete unknown. No one has been following his stagnant career, and he doesn't even have a Wikipedia page. In fact, it was revealed less than two months ago that Jackson would be the next opponent for Punk. Has Jackson been training? In what amounts to basically a loser leaves town match, as stated by White, if Punk loses, he's not getting a third fight. The same can be assumed to be said for Jackson. With over 500 contracted UFC fighters, and White cutting fighters over twitter spats, it's nearly guaranteed that the loser will be cut.
So what can we expect from Punk vs. Jackson? Expect to see an amateur MMA bout marred by sub-par kickboxing mixed with low-level BJJ, probably ending by submission or TKO in round one. Presumably, Punk will look to make a statement that his fighting career is not a joke, but alas, it already is. For sure Punk will come in more prepared, and if Jackson has only known about the fight for a few months, well, this is PRIDE booking at its finest.
The next question is, will this do a similar buy rate? That answer is a definite no. In the era of UFC oversaturation, piracy, and the death of cable TV, fewer and fewer people are willing to plunk down 65 bucks for an HD PPV, even of this staggering quality. While it certainly won't do the level of buys of Punks first fight, this stacked card coming to you from Punk's hometown of Chicago will undoubtedly do a stronger than average number, but whether the UFC will attribute the potential level of success to Punk's presence is largely unknown. One would think that win or lose if this PPV does indeed draw well above average, then maybe Punk will get to close out his contract with one final fight, hopefully against me.
The UFC loves money, and as we know, characters draw money. I'm throwing my hat in the ring. If Punk (or Jackson for that matter) wants a third fight, I'm offering my services. My next article will be highlighting why CM Punk vs. The Viggity is THE MONEY MATCH for UFC to make. Follow us on Twitter @ComedySuplex and follow me @PeachMachine for more articles and wackiness.