Mike Jackson is a mixed martial artist and combat sports photographer who competes in the Welterweight division of the UFC. He was best known for defeating WWE’s CM Punk back in 2018, and is expected to face Dean Barry early in 2021.
Mike Jackson: Boom we’re back 126th edition of the quarantine cast. I am joined by mike jackson, ufc welterweight, who was briefly scheduled to uh to return in january uh to face dean, uh dean, barry um, but it looks like that’s being pushed um. I have them on we’re. Gon na talk a little bit about his layoff uh, obviously, his fight against cm punk and mickey gall, as well as what’s next for him in 2021, hey man how’s it going. Thank you for having me thanks for uh, thanks for taking the time to uh to jump on so brand new year. Man uh. Are you excited for 2021 yeah, of course man? It’S uh! It’S a new year uh! For me, i kind of live day by day, as it is um, but i’m definitely excited to see what was in store for us. How was your uh? How was your 2020 for a lot of people? It was chaotic, obviously, a lot of stuff going on in the united states, plus the pandemic, which kind of left a lot of people sidelined um. So what was it like for you um? You know it for me. I was at home a lot. It was a lot of cabin fever. Um i mean obviously there there’s the the racial uh tension going on. You know that’s depressing in itself, just seeing all the crazy [ __ ] um, but really my life didn’t change too much, because me, premier league, i work for home um outside of going to the gym um. The biggest thing for me, though, was the the traveling. I would i all that stopped and then uh, you know for me. Primarily. I cover events cover anime fights, covered, jiu-jitsu super fights, um and because you know the events cancellation, so i had none of that um. So, for me it was just a lot of uh groundhog’s day. You know the same thing was kind of repetitive uh, but you know i. I was grateful for the for the moment because uh it was, it was a. It was a great reflecting time for me. It was a time to reset let my body heal uh, let my mind. Heal and uh really focus on the future, and i was able to do that during this time and and i see a lot of uh over mobility with the brand um and things like that. Uh coming here, starting film yeah, i’m reading uh, i’m reading george st pierre’s book uh. I should have read it years ago, but i’m reading it now and one of the things that they said is the reason why gsp was so ahead of its time was because of his ability to adapt. I think 2020 really made a lot of us. Do that. Do you agree with that? I i do i mean you, you have to die, i mean that’s, that’s part of the evolution in itself, um and and the people and that’s kind of the people who were kind of stuck in their ways and and they lack this ability to adapt. They kind of want to keep the traditions alive and things like that um outside you know it’s good to have tradition. I feel um. I think it’s more so the memories and the pictures, but when you try to live your life with this um, almost archaic mindset uh. I think that energy, you know evolution is a good thing. We have to evolve with time because everything else is evolving and i think that’s other people we have to evolve and and we’re not here to stay stagnant. You know we’re here to to gain knowledge and pass it on to future generations, and if you just stay in this archaic, you know mindset where there’s no growth, then nothing comes from that you. You stay in this uh, just stagnant kind of mindset and stagnant reality, and i’m not about that. I’M about growth, man and seeing what’s out there, so that being said, 2020 is now behind us. What’S your mindset going into uh 2021, both on a personal note, as well as a as a fighting uh on a fighting perspective man for me, it growth is, is the primary key, but also one thing that i i’ve realized is that i do have a gift Of knowledge and to help people out uh and that’s one thing that i’ve been doing, i find that i’ve had a lot of conversations with people, especially during the quarantine and i’ve helped give people a different perspective on life, and so for me uh. I want to continue to push that narrative of growth uh. I want to continue to help others grow. You know with my platform, so that’s really the main goal in the mission um. Now i i have a crazy way of doing things. You know so the things that i do is going to have a little like the truth, spin on it um, but people who know me and rock with me they they know what to expect. So we have some dope things in the end, so you were briefly scheduled to face dean. Barry, i’m not really sure the the uh, i guess, if that’s being rebooked or or what that what uh what’s happening with that fight. But it was just a scheduling thing. Uh, it was nothing that that’s it. It was just uh. You know trying to get things to happen going out here to fight island uh. You know my life is a little chaotic, so things just didn’t work out as i planned or anticipated to um. So yeah we’re just gon na have to get the fight push back, but look man it’s all it is, is just pushing the schedule back. Nothing else is gon na change. Um. We have the same mindset going to the fight same game plan and we in look. It’S the same, exciting fight, we’re just going to get it a a little bit later now, um, but yeah outside of that nothing’s changed man just the date and the location so that will be held in the united states. We’Re just going to assume it’s going to be invade because either fight island or vegas, so it’ll probably be a uh or it’ll, be a vegas thing coming here in the next few months. I like it um. So, what’s your thoughts on the match up, i mean, i think a lot of people were surprised when it was first announced but uh, but what’s your thoughts on dean barry as an opponent? Obviously, he’s a 45er, so uh you’ve got a little bit of a size advantage you’re the second person i now i i knew he was uh uh. He had competed 55 and then i did hit some catchweights at 65. um but 45 man. I didn’t know that nick yes, man that sucks for him, that’s really all i got on that um as far as the match up um, it’s [ __ ] styles make fights, and i think this is an exciting matchup. That’S going to be uh very receptive to the fans. You know they’re they’re, going to receive this very well, just because a lot of the fans nowadays they like these striking matchups and exciting fights, and i feel that both of our styles together is going to make for for some crazy some crazy. Just i i don’t want to say violence and things like that, because just based off our styles but you’re just going to see some cool [ __ ] uh, i i can definitely guarantee you there’s going to be some uh moments in the fight from from my Side from his side, um just giving our style, so i feel the match-up is is is what the fans like to see. So we got to give the fans what they want. I think uh i mean i’ll speak for myself here. I think when your name was announced that you would be facing a lot of us were like oh wow he’s still like you know, we weren’t sure if you were cut, if you were still in the ufc or what was going on so could you kind of Shed some light there on that two-year layoff and what exactly? What was the reason for such a long layoff? Well, first yeah, you decided just showed up this morning, so yeah, i’m definitely still on the rocks. That’S other things like i. I think that people who didn’t know that i was on the roster simply just don’t follow me or or they don’t know anything about me on as far as social media. If you are a glimpse of my social media at the truth, jacksonville instagram and twitter, facebook uh, you get a glimpse of that and so you’ve known. What’S up man, you get the youth side of business. You get the pi, you get the training you you get! Ufc you get all these things right, um, but as far as me, i was actually gon na fight on the argentina car. I was offered a fight back at the end of 2018 um preparing that fight. I got injured, and so it was really just uh wanting to recover and wanted to be optimal. Um, like i said i, i spent a lot of time out at the pi um out in vegas uh, i’m trying when i go out to vegas i’ve trained with you guys at syndicate so uh on on this time off uh. I get knowledge from different gyms and coaches, i’m at the pi getting uh this scientific look at my body and a scientific approach to fighting um and then again i’m just traveling i get and when i’m traveling i get to to go and train and and gain Knowledge from just high quality gyms around the country um, then i’m i’m at fights, i’m shooting for lfa, i’m shooting for fury fighting here in texas, um, i’m doing the submission hunter, jiu, jitsu super fights. So for me, i’m staying active, staying busy staying in the sport because i mean first of all, it’s a sport that i love. I love i love mma, but i love combat sports as it has an entirety. Um and my life revolves around that. So, for me, it’s just being involved using my platform to help these other competitors grow um and get their names out there. It’S just uh, it’s just a lot man. I have my hands and a lot of things trying to get growing the mic. The truth, brand um and using that platform to help others grow as well. I watched uh. I watched another interview of yours and did i hear you were you’re training with austin trout is that is that correct? Well, we trained the same gym uh, so i trained in main street boxing and it’s a it’s a boxing that we uh or it’s a gym that that has a lot of world champions. Uh lou savarese is part owner of the gym as well as uh. My coach bob perez, so we get world champion boxers. We get guys like austin trouts in there uh regis pro grace. Is there uh? We have this kid named austin williams. They call him ammo williams, he’s he’s like four or five and oh um he’s like one of the top prospects in boxing right now. Uh he’s there um we and jack miguel flora. We did. Maybe he just got a number jenny, fusch um. I can go on just a list of just top guys and then we have that on mma side as well, but to your point, yeah austin trout, is, is at the gym. I haven’t trained with him, though i’ve just been in the same way. You know he’s doing this thing on the boxing side, i’m doing my thing, uh, whether it be on the mma or kickboxing. How significant is it to get to make sure you’re getting those boxing looks like a lot of guys only train primarily with mma fighters. Do you think it’s important to make sure you’re you’re, getting a feel of you know strictly boxing guys guys like austin trump, for example, yeah? Well, it really depends on on on what your style is right, because i i don’t think everything is for everyone um. For me, i get a lot of a lot of my training. Is boxing uh heavy and as that’s, that box is a love of mine, the passion um, i’m probably getting uh. So i work out with the amateur boxing team, one of like twice a week, um and then i’ll go in there and just spar for an hour. So and i’m that’s me in the middle and i’m just getting i’ll get like the guys will get like three rounds at a time. So for me, i’m getting about [ __ ] anywhere from 10 to 15 rounds on those days, i’m getting 20 or 30 rounds. A week just just straight boxing, um and then i’ll mix in the other rounds as far as like mma or you know, kickboxing and things like that um. But i think, given what your style of fighting is. I think that’s a a a part of the the fighting game that people don’t really like focus on, because it’s really like oh you’re doing it. May you should just learn everything which is true, but you have to know how to prioritize what you’re learning and, if you’re not like. I think if you’re like, let’s say, you’re a jiu jitsu guy who’s, getting into fighting and you’re trying to learn some boxing or you know, really is learning how to get hit because you’re going to get him boxing. I think it’s it’s a smart thing to do. Right because you’re you’re trying to learn that aspect of fighting you’re trying to learn the throne, how to throw punches, properly uh how to roll with punches and not get hit flush working on defense um. But it gets to a point like if you have a guy, who is, let’s say: uh uh a striker, but he’s really heavy on his kicks right. He now shouldn’t take boxing to work on his hand. Yes, but he’s probably going to focus more on the kickboxing side, because that’s where he feels comfortable with and he’s really good at it and it’s now, if he’s trying to get good at boxing, then sure you’re gon na have to bring it more. But if it’s just for training, i think you want to limit those areas um like for me for this fight, although i train in jiu-jitsu wrestling, i’m not doing it as heavy for this fight, because the chances of it hitting the ground if we trip or fumble Or something man like this is going to be a striking match. So for me, although i’m training ground just to [, __ ] anything can happen, and then i just want to train that aspect of fighting. I’M not very strong on it. At the moment, when um, you know, when you have your background and when you’re training with those guys when barry goes out and says, he’s gon na he’s gon na earn that 50k by knocking you out. Do you feel a little bit disrespected by that? Not at all i don’t, i don’t take it like that’s what you’re supposed to say like we’re fighting like that at the end of the day, that’s exact! That’S what we’re doing like we’re fighting like i’m, not expecting him to say. Yeah i’ma go out here and win a decision over mike i’m expecting him to come out and look for the fish, just as he should expect. I’M coming out. Looking for the finish, so no, i i don’t. I don’t take any look. I don’t take anything these guys say personal. Was the fighters um, whether it’s these trolls on the internet? Like isn’t it’s nothing personal? I do take to a to account, though, given that we’re in the fighting sport and buddy put out 50 000 hit on you mans. I do take that, like from a fighter’s perspective, i’d take that personal um and – and he don’t have to own up to that um and and we’re going to handle it whenever you know, whenever that day gets signed, we gon na make it happen, and it’s just. I don’t see him getting the knockout i just i just can’t see it. I want to talk about your uh, your obviously your last fight, i mean a lot of eyes were on that um. Well, probably a lot more eyes than on this one, simply because you were fighting a guy named cm punk who everyone was familiar with in the wwe world. What was it like going out there and getting a win under the ufc banner? I mean it was nothing to me, for i mean it was cool little experience i mean i, i have a different mentality and i look at this just a little bit different than the other people do. So i i don’t have the same like uh. Like things. Don’T attract me to it right so, like the whole, the going out and getting ufc win like it’s cool, but i don’t have the same feeling like as some other people would getting like they’re in their moment. Like they’re. Oh, my god. This really happened like for me is not that, like it was like all right cool. What’S next, you know for me, so uh the moment itself, it was just it was more the experience um going out to chicago doing the press. Um i mean i was going through some pictures yesterday, looking for something to post and uh like, i brought my photographer out there for for uh the chicago card, and i end up doing like an interview with somebody while getting a pedicure, you know saying i look Actually, i need to go get my my nails done here pretty soon, but yeah like things like that, you know um talking to shorties on the corner. You know just like you know, out of chicago randomly. It was just. It was just a cool moment. So for me, it’s more so um about the overall experiences than just that. One singular moment as someone who’s fought a guy who transitioned into this sport, he did it a little bit more respectfully than some other people are currently doing it, guys, like jake paul, for example, when you see guys like that kind of coming in and entering the Sport and almost in a way making a mockery of everything that you’ve worked for everything that guys, like conor mcgregor, have worked for. Does it? Does it bother you when you see them kind of doing that and calling guys out that they really have no business calling out not at all like and that’s the thing like? I don’t look at it as any of that, like people put you only you when people give it all that that talk, and that credit then yeah, i see why why people get all riled up, but at the end like it’s. None of that like it is like these people are in their own lane right and i i actually showed a due respect because, as far as his his willingness to go, because i feel what he’s doing it’s it’s it’s actually the right way what’s happening, though, is That, because he is this uh this this personality, then he’s gon na draw more attention than someone else in the end of the day, jake paul and his brother they’re amateur level boxers but they’re doing it the right way and they’re fighting the competition. Look when the ksi’s and the nate robinsons i’ve seen that at a professional level, i’ve seen that exactly, but the only difference is that we have the jake paul. Who has this huge following and who’s having people buy the pay-per-views to watch right is it’s boxing and it’s not taking away from the sport. It’S just this niche little thing, um. The only downside which you did mention was the disrespect from him calling out like actual fighters um, but that’s what they do like that’s their from their perspective, like that’s their way of marketing. What they’re doing look he he’s never gon na fight the conor mcgregor’s, even in like the floyd mayweather thing, that’s kind of cool with that with the with the exhibit, and let’s take that right. You have it where, like people mad at that, what are you mad for? First of all, if you don’t like it, just don’t watch it like. That’S literally that simple, if you don’t like it, don’t watch it, but people don’t watch it right and they’re watching it because they’re attracted they want to see. What’S gon na happen, we all know what’s gon na happen, we know i knew what was gon na happen with the floyd mcgregor thing, but we all watched it right. We all knew this guy conor mcgregor like their hands that they, like first of all in mma, there’s this this misconception about what boxing is like mma is mma and boxing, and i compete in both sports i’ve. I’Ve trained heavily in both and i’ve and they’re they’re. All they’re almost night and day as far as sports go like their differences and when you see conor mcgregor, just with his style, is going against mayweather you’re like yo. This is like there’s no chance because and then there’s no chance, given that this dude is arguably the greatest defensive like the different. That’S. The main thing, though, is the defense in boxing and mma. It’S two different styles, but then you’re taking arguably the greatest defensive fighter and putting him in there with someone who isn’t a boxer like it just doesn’t make sense. So when you add like the jake, pauls and or whatever the paul brothers is doing against, floyd, that’s cool and you have it now where they brought in ben askren. Like we all know, ben askren, like has like, as far as his boxing goes, is non-existent right, but here’s the thing ben aspin is an actual fighter. He may not be a good boxer, but he’s an actual fighter and he’s fought out of at the highest level. Now has he boss at the high level no but to say that ben askren has never sparred boxing or train boxing. That’S silly to even think that. So, given that we now have been asking fighting one of paul brothers, who is training their competing boxing, and one of these guys, has been consistently training in boxing for like several years, two like two or three years, i’m assuming i’m not saying ben ashkin has a Shot at winning because of his boxing, but ben aspen definitely has a shot of winning just based off of him being an actual fighter. I’M still picking the ball brother to watch him, though, because it’s about it’s not even a fight right, um, so rapping all would come back when he said at the end of the day. I don’t think it’s bad. I think it’s actually a good thing, because it’s bringing eyes to the sport and it’s in its own little niche market and it’s not hurting anybody as someone who’s kind of uh who fought someone who brought a lot of eyes to the sport and see him is That something you’d be open to doing like bring them all on bring on jake paul ksi. It doesn’t matter hey if you know what i thought about like. Maybe that’s me, maybe that’s my role and i’m cool with that, because, if i’m the dude who just gets to to tune up the guys who really think this is what they’re about. Because i mean that’s how people look at me, they, like all this dude. Don’T really train and he doesn’t. He doesn’t he’s not a fighter just that the other man i’ve been fighting and i’ve been training this sport for gaming at 13, 13 years in april um, i train with the highest level of guys um. I can fight. You know what i’m saying, and i that’s cool, though i’m glad that people uh look at me as someone who’s, just a photographer or a journalist or a podcast or whatever the hell. They look at me as that doesn’t bother me because at the end of the day, when i step in the ring or the cage, i have to display my talent one way or the other i’m either getting knocked out or i’m gon na knock somebody out right. So what they say doesn’t matter it’s just about what my actual abilities are. You know all right, i’ll. Ask you one last question, then i’ll: let you go it’s saturday night, so i know uh, i’m sure you’ve got things to do big fight coming up in january. Conor mcgregor versus dustin poirier. Obviously we saw the first. We saw the fight happen years ago, different weight class, different fighters. How do you think it plays out this time around man? I’M excited about this uh crazy, because i remember when all the whole fights were announced. I was trying to. I was hoping that i was on the because i heard they were kind of put pushing that that fight around the same day and uh. I was hoping to get on it because my for my second second amateur fight was on a dust emporia undercard in louisiana um. This was, it was 2000 2008, actually like november 2008, there’s a destination on the car, so i was excited about it, um. What a possibility of getting but then i was on the whole weekend right um, but with all of that, i, like i, mean dustin’s, been more active in mma. We’Ve seen the progression of him as as far as uh uh him as a complete fighter him and as well as his growth uh. We don’t have that same grasp on kind of we know what he’s done and the instances he’s he’s shown the world, but we don’t see how he’s how i don’t want to say ring wrestling because for him it’s you know everybody’s different. So i don’t want to say he has it, but we don’t know how he’s improved we’ve seen how dustin’s improved we’ve seen, how he’s gotten better and and how uh he he’s. Definitely going to look at this he’s going to take this fight. Um uh he’s going to have a different outlook and different vision for this fight than he did in the previous one um. So for me it’s hard not to go with dustin, you know, and then he got some delicious hot sauce that we just we just caught the the diamond poury uh louisiana, hot sauce, which is which is delicious. So i’m riding with dustin this one and i’m and look i’m a connor fan, but i’m just. I feel that uh with dustin’s growth, uh he’ll be able to take this one all right. Is there any uh any last words here? Any sponsors you want to thank or or any uh social media you’d like to plug before we uh. Let you go follow me on all the social media at the truth, jackson, man, we just here for the shits and giggles uh yeah. That’S it and stay tuned for for the fight announcement, all right man. I can’t wait. I’Ve been a fan of yours for a while and uh it’s good to see that you’re back out there and i can’t wait to to watch the fight man. Thank you for having me and i appreciate that, support there. We go mike jackson, um, obviously uh like we talked about. He had a huge win last time out against cm punk. It’S been two and a half years since we’ve seen him. I can’t wait for this. Next fight, if you haven’t be sure to like comment and subscribe and make sure you check out all of the social media until