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Sonnen on CM Punk vs. Jackson: Remember their ‘heart and grit,’ not their skill

Chael Sonnen offers a different take on the UFC 225 main card opener between CM Punk and Mike Jackson.

The CM Punk vs. Mike Jackson fight that kicked off the UFC 225 main card was met by mixed reactions. Major personalities like long-time UFC analyst Joe Rogan was completely against the inclusion of the said match-up in the main card right from the get-go.

But there were a few handful of observers who thoroughly enjoyed the match, and one of them is Chael Sonnen. During a recent episode of his Beyond the Fight podcast, the current Bellator heavyweight fighter gave his unique take on the fight.

“I appreciated that match. I think that Mike Jackson deserves some credit,” Sonnen said. “Look, he’s not very good. People seem to be making that the focal point. I feel that they’re just missing the story that two guys had a dream, two guys were given the opportunity, and two guys got matched up, and we do have to admit very well that that was the right skill vs. the right skill, the right experience vs. the right experience.”

“I thought that CM Punk showed a lot of heart, I don’t think you guys would disagree with me. As far as a ton of skill, he’s only done it one time. Going into the fight, he’s only done it one time, now he’s only done it two times. What the hell do you want from the guy?”

According to Sonnen, the gripes that people have towards the said match-up could be about unrealistic expectations that weren’t met. He believes that people should have focused on the efforts that both fighters put in, instead of their fighting skills, which were already a given to be below par.

“You had a guy go out there, dig deep and push for 15 minutes in a combat sport, hard to do,” Sonnen said. “And I’m putting a little bit of a bow on it, that is true. It was a lesser quality that you would see in many pay-per-view fights. That’s true, but there was still something there.”

“We tuned in for a reason, and any other expectations that we put on that, we put on that falsely. We got what we should have got,” he continued. “We got what we should have expected. And I think that the heart and the grit of both guys needs to be what’s remembered, not the skill. They’ve both only been in there a couple of times between them. Not even all the fingers on my right hand.”

One of the perceived reasons as to why the Punk vs. Jackson fight was placed in the main card was because of the ex-WWE star’s supposed drawing power. However, UFC 225’s post-fight figures also failed to meet expectations, as reports claim that the event’s buy rate was below 150,000 buys.

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