By the second round, Jackson looked like he was going to finish Punk. It seemed that he spent half the fight sitting on the wrestler, who couldn’t wriggle out of Jackson’s ground and pound. But instead of trying to score a knockout or take Punk’s back, Jackson slowed up and just sort of lazily wailed away on Punk’s head. He easily could have ended the fight in the second round or the third round, but instead he chilled. Jackson casually gazed out of the cage as he smashed Punk with elbows and punches. It felt like a work, as Jackson scarcely tried to hide his intentions of carrying the fight to a decision.

At one point, Punk grappled his way onto Jackson’s chest. So Jackson simply slammed him to the mat and went back to work. It’s not that Jackson is good or anything; it’s simply that Punk was out of his depth. It was an embarrassing spectacle, and UFC dictator Dana White was pissed off to the point that he told both Jackson and Punk that they were finished. “I don’t know what that guy did for a living before we gave him this shot,” he said of Jackson. “But whatever it was he needs to go back and do that again. He’s 0-2 as far as I’m concerned ... That’s it for his UFC career. I wouldn’t put that kid in the Contender Series.”


White praised Punk’s chin, but advised that the 39-year-old find something else to do. “We gave him two shots, and he had a lot of heart tonight, and I think he should call it a wrap,” he said. White can be mad all he wants, but he put this carnival act on the same card as the all-timer between Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero. As dumb as this fight was, the UFC will almost certainly find a way to top it sooner or later.