Daniel Bryan still believes he could beat Mike Jackson in a MMA fight.
Jackson dominated former WWE Champion CM Punk at UFC 225, easily walking away with a unanimous decision victory. Despite winning, Dana White blasted Jackson's performance, calling him a "goofball" for clowning around and not finishing Punk. Jackson was cut from the company after the event.
Bryan made headlines following UFC 225 when he stated, "I could beat (Jackson) on the ground for sure" during an Instagram Live session.
Speaking to Booker T on Heated Conversations, Bryan clarified how the trash talk started.
"What happened was, Brie was on Instagram Live to promote Total Bellas and it was like, 'Bryan is here, does anyone want to ask him a question?' Somebody popped up and said, 'Do you think you could beat Mike Jackson?,'" recalled Bryan. "It wasn't like I was sitting around thinking, 'Oh, this is my shot. I'm gonna call him out on Brie's Instagram story.' So, I said, 'Yeah, I think so. If it went to the ground, I think I could.'"
When asked if he still believes he could beat Jackson, Bryan remained confident.
"Yes. It could be false confidence. I'm very open to that. Most people who know me, know this; If I say, 'I think I can beat Mike Jackson,' it's that. It's not me being like, 'I would kill that man. I would get out there and destroy that man.' It's no disrespect to him and no disrespect to CM Punk," said Bryan. "It's the first I watched a UFC show and somebody won a fight and I went, 'You know what, I think I could beat that guy.' To say, 'Oh, I've toyed around with jiu-jitsu' or whatever it is. I've been training grappling and kickboxing for a lot of years. That said, that doesn't make me a MMA fighter."
Bryan conceded that more goes into a fight than just the fighting. He mentioned that he was training takedowns recently, and on top of being 37 years old, Bryan's neck issues gave him problems while training. On top of making it through a full camp, there's also the weight cutting and the mental warfare involved in fighting.
"My thinking is, If I could survive a six month camp. I think I could beat him. That said, he has a lot of experience. I've never done any real combat fighting."
While Bryan has trained in aspects of MMA since 2002, he stated that he enjoys sparring with friends more than "the game" of a real opponent.
After Bryan's comments in June, Jackson took to social media to welcome the challenge.