The UFC 225: Whittaker vs. Romero fight card was filled with meaningful fights spanning several divisions. The top flyweight contender Joseph Benavidez fought on the UFC Fight Pass portion of the event against No. 5 ranked Sergio Pettis. No. 3 ranked women’s strawweight Claudia Gadelha faced former champion Carla Esparza on the FS1 preliminary card. Also on the preliminary fight card was No. 2 heavyweight Alistair Overeem facing No. 4 ranked Curtis Blaydes.
When it was revealed that CM Punk and Mike Jackson, two 0-1 fighters, would kick off the pay-per-view portion of the event many were left scratching their heads. Jackson defeated CM Punk by unanimous decision, but neither looked like a high-level fighter. Jackson carried the former pro wrestling superstar while showboating and never looking for the finish.
During the event’s post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White said that he regretted putting that fight on the main card and heavily criticized Jackson’s performance.
“Michael Jackson, I’m not happy with. This guy was acting like a goofball. You get this opportunity to come in and fight CM Punk and you’re doing like bolo punches to the body on top. Never looked like he was trying to finish the fight; ever. Looked like he could have finished the fight a few times. Never tried. I don’t know what that guy did for a living before we gave him the shot, but whatever it was, he needs to go back and do that again,” said White. “He’s 0-2 as far as I’m concerned.”
During Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, Jackson stated that he didn’t want to give CM Punk brain damage and held back from causing serious injury to the 39-year old. Once the fight started, White quickly had second thoughts about the decision to put the bout on the main card.
“I got the sense that he’s a complete (expletive) idiot and I couldn’t wait for that fight to end and I regretted not putting it on Fight Pass. That’s how I felt about it,” he said.
White also revealed that both fighters no longer have a future in the fight promotion and will not receive another opportunity to compete inside the Octagon.
“That’s it for his (Jackson’s) UFC career. I wouldn’t put that kid in the Contender’s Series,” he said.
“It should be a wrap,” said White about CM Punk’s fighting career. “The guy is 39-years old. I love the guy. He’s the nicest guy in the world. We gave him two shots. He had a lot of heart in the fight. I think he should call it a wrap.”