55-year-old UFC Hall of Famer returns for grudge match against one-time CM Punk opponent

MMA is full of twitter beefs that never turn into actual fights, but at least one former UFC champ is getting his chance to settle a score.

By: Zane Simon | 2 months ago

MMA is full of strange grudges. A sport populated by people who love to fight and who have learned to sell themselves through aggressive discourse is going to have a whole bunch of people who are mad at each other at any given time.

Even for MMA, however, former UFC fighter Mike Jackson has found himself in a few weird spots. Initially brought into the promotion as one of a couple men lined up to fight CM Punk in his brief vanity combat sports stint, Jackson parted ways with the Endeavor owned company back in January after compiling a 1-2 record with 1 no contest.

Former UFC fighter Mike Jackson.
Former UFC fighter Mike Jackson. IMAGO/ZUMA Wire

“I understand the business side of this,” Jackson said at the time. “But for me, it doesn’t matter. I made way more money not fighting than fighting.”

Mike Jackson’s Jake Shields confrontation

A strong Black Lives Matter supporter and self described “Snow Roach Antagonizer,” Jackson has unsurprisingly found himself in several clashes with members of MMA’s more vocally right-wing contingent. Most notably, his long running feud with Jake Shields that boiled over into an altercation at the UFC Performance Institute.

Shortly after the incident, Jackson told MMA Junkie that he was planning to press charges against Shields for assault, after which Shields claimed he would sue Jackson for defamation of character. It’s unclear at this time if either man has made any moves to advance their potential cases through the court system. However, shortly after getting released from the UFC, Jackson did say that he planned on settling his score with Shields.

“My mindset wasn’t to beat the f—k out of Jake Shields — it was to not get punched in the face,” Jackson told MMA Fighting back in January. “So he’s in my DMs, talking a bunch of s, but then his tune changed, and he was like, ‘Do you want me to come to Houston to box? I’ll come box you.’ I haven’t responded yet, but that’s my new thing. He’s going to come to Houston, or we’re going to find somewhere to meet, and I’ll beat the f out of him for the s—t that he did.”

Mike Jackson to fight ex-UFC champ Pat Miletich

If Shields and Jackson ever did follow up on their pugilistic plans, neither man has made any noise about it in the public sphere. Instead, news has recently broke that Jackson will be be settling one of his other long running social media scores inside the ring.

Caged Aggression, an Iowa based MMA promotion, has announced an upcoming fight between Mike Jackson and former LFA commentator and onetime UFC champion Pat Miletich. Outside of his MMA accolades, Miletich more recently made headlines with his support for the January 6th riots in Washington DC that resulted in 5 deaths, including one rioter shot by an officer inside the Capitol building. Miletich attended the riots in support of overturning the 2020 presidential elections and reinstating Donald Trump in the White House.

After news of his attendance became public, Miletich lost his job with LFA, and faced harsh public backlash for his actions. A former friend and self described student of Miletch’s in the past, Jackson was strong among his vocal detractors.

“I’ll admit, I hate this happened to someone I called a friend, brother, and coach,” Jackson wrote on his personal blog adding that Miletich had been associated with “the domestic terrorist who failed at their coup attempt at the nation’s capitol.”

Apparently Miletich has especially taken umbrage with the “domestic terrorist” label, claiming that the riot was actually a “love fest” and that he was “thinking about my children’s freedoms,” and wasn’t involved in any of the violence that resulted.

“Suddenly there was an uproar that I had been responsible for some sort of domestic terrorism and a supporter of white supremacy, which is a joke,” Miletich complained in a 2022 interview with ABC affiliate WQAD.

The two men have kept up a steady diet of antagonism in the years since, with Jackson directing social media posts at Miletich as recently as this last May.

Hopefully, this coming October 14th both men will get the chance to put their feud to bed once and for all with a full rules MMA bout at Caged Aggression 36: Bad Blood. In a press release for the event the promotion is sellin git as a “clash, fueled by personal animosity and stark ideological differences,” featuring “skill against youth, experience against speed, and conservative views against liberally minded agendas.”

It’s a somewhat surprising booking considering that when Jackson spoke to MMA Junkie about the idea back in 2022, he specifically noted that he wanted to keep the fight to kickboxing, “’cause I don’t want the motherf—ker to hold me and s—t in MMA.” Nonetheless, the two men will meet at a reported catchweight of 175 lbs. No other fights have currently been announced for the event.

Share this story

About the author
Zane Simon
Zane Simon

Zane Simon is a senior editor, writer, and podcaster for Bloody Elbow. He has worked with the website since 2013, taking on a wide variety of roles. A lifelong combat sports fan, Zane has trained off & on in both boxing and Muay Thai. He currently hosts the long-running MMA Vivisection podcast, which he took over from Nate Wilcox & Dallas Winston in 2015, as well as the 6th Round podcast, started in 2014. Zane is also responsible for developing and maintaining the ‘List of current UFC fighters’ on Bloody Elbow, a resource he originally developed for Wikipedia in 2010.

More from the author

Bloody Elbow Podcast
Related Stories