The bout between CM Punk and Mike Jackson faced criticism right when it was promoted to the main card. After the fight, Jackson faced a lot of criticism for not finishing the fight whereas Punk was praised for his heart and grit.
Roufusport jiu-jitsu coach Daniel Wanderley also praised Punk for his display of courage, but explained that the former WWE superstar didn’t follow the strategy at UFC 225.
“Mike Jackson has a boxing background, so our strategy was to avoid standing with him,” Wanderley said. “CM Punk comes from the wrestling world. It’s fake wrestling with WWE, but he’s more of a grappler than a striker. Even though he has worked on his striking for a long time, it takes years, especially if you’re starting at his age.”
“Our plan was to go for takedowns early,” he continued. “We knew [Jackson] didn’t have much of a ground game, so he could scramble and submit or work on his ground and pound on top. His jiu-jitsu is better when he’s on top. He tried a triangle when he was off his back, but he was already hurt and it was hard to finish. Not that he did something wrong, but I think that the adrenaline of his [WWE] court case, that battle during fight week didn’t help. We were confident that he would win, but unfortunately we couldn’t.
“We’re proud of him because he went there and fought hard. At one point we thought Mike would end the fight, but we saw his heart there.”
Wanderley feels Punk can serve as a commentator in the MMA world, but advises him to pursue another sport as a competitor.
“I hope he continues training and maybe enters a jiu-jitsu competition, something he has always talked about,” Wanderley said. “I hope he comes back with a good mindset and keeps training jiu-jitsu because that’s good for his life. I think that’s a perfect sport for him.
“I think he should continue training kickboxing, jiu-jitsu, wrestling, but training for a [MMA] fight is too hard. I wish he would go on to compete in jiu-jitsu because you face opponents at your age, your skill level, your belt rank, so you don’t fight someone more experienced than you. That’s my recommendation for him.”