Daniel Bryan is extremely confident in his ability, not only in the ring, but apparently in the Octagon as well. This past summer, former WWE Champion CM Punk returned to the UFC and was again defeated. This time, Punk lost to MMA journalist Mike Jackson at UFC 225 in Chicago. Punk lasted all three rounds but was defeated via unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards.
Shortly after, Brie Bella went live on Instagram to promote Total Bellas. Bryan was in the background, and a fan asked him if he thinks he could beat Mike Jackson in the UFC. The SmackDown Live star said he thinks he could if the fight went to the ground. Here’s how he explained it to WWE Hall Of Famer Booker T on his radio show, Heated Conversations:
“What was happening was, my wife (Brie) was on Instagram, and she was doing a live thing, to promote Total Bellas”, Bryan explained. “And it was like, ‘Oh, Bryan is here with me. Does anybody want to ask him a question?’
“And somebody popped up and said, ‘Do you think you could beat Mike Jackson?’ And it wasn’t like I’ve been sitting around thinking, ‘I guess this is my shot. I’m going to call him out on Brie’s Instagram story. And this is what I said. I said, ‘Yeah, I think so. If it went to the ground, I think I could’.”
When Booker T asked Bryan if he really thinks he could submit Jackson, Bryan confirmed he does – but admits he may simply have false confidence:
“Yes (I could submit him), but that could be false confidence. I’m very open to that (idea). I think most people who know me know this. If I were to say like, ‘Yeah, I think I could beat Mike Jackson’, it’s that. It’s not me being like, ‘Oh, I would kill that man! I would go out there and destroy that man!’ It’s no disrespect to him, it’s no disrespect to CM Punk. It was the first time I ever actually watched a UFC show where somebody won a fight, and I thought, ‘You know what? I think I could beat that guy’.
“And just say that, ‘Oh, I’ve toyed around with jiu – jitsu’ or whatever it is, and I’ve been training grappling and stuff for a lot of years. I’ve been training kickboxing and stuff for a lot of years. That said, that doesn’t make me an MMA fighter, and I’m well aware of it. I’m also well aware of the fact that, okay, I’ve been training this month in takedowns, right? And I’m doing double legs, and guess what? I’m kind of old!
“And so, here I am, shooting double legs and when you’re shooting double legs, you’re tilting your neck to finish this double leg takedown, and me with my neck problems, I probably shot 15 double legs, and they were still doing double legs. And my neck all of a sudden, my thoracic spine was like, ‘What am I doing? We don’t do this!'”
H/T Wrestling Inc. for the transcriptions