CM Punk's return vs. Mike Jackson official for UFC 225

by
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC / UFC / Getty

CM Punk will be making his sophomore walk to the Octagon after all.

As both he and UFC president Dana White recently maintained, the former WWE superstar will face Mike Jackson in a welterweight bout at UFC 225 on June 9 in Punk's hometown of Chicago, with the promotion making the matchup official on Thursday.

Both Punk and Jackson fell to prospect Mickey Gall by first-round tapout via rear-naked choke in their sole professional bouts at UFC 203 and UFC Fight Night 82, respectively. The former pro wrestler resumed his MMA training at Roufusport in Milwaukee and began "feverishly" angling for another shot in the Octagon following the defeat, one he and White teased prior to Thursday's announcement.

Jackson, 33, had called Punk out on more than one occasion following the latter's September 2016 loss to Gall, and will now vie for his first victory in a return from a 28-month layoff.

The star-studded bill's confirmed bouts are now as follows:

  • Middleweight Championship Bout: Robert Whittaker vs. Yoel Romero
  • Interim Welterweight Championship Bout: Rafael dos Anjos vs. Colby Covington
  • Women's Featherweight Bout: Holly Holm vs. Megan Anderson
  • Heavyweight Bout: Alistair Overeem vs. Curtis Blaydes
  • Flyweight Bout: Joseph Benavidez vs. Sergio Pettis
  • Strawweight Bout: Claudia Gadelha vs. Carla Esparza
  • Featherweight Bout: Ricardo Lamas vs. Mirsad Bektic
  • Light Heavyweight Bout: Rashad Evans vs. Anthony Smith
  • Heavyweight Bout: Andrei Arlovski vs. Tai Tuivasa
  • Welterweight Bout: CM Punk vs. Mike Jackson
  • Featherweight Bout: Mike Santiago vs. Dan Ige
  • Heavyweight Bout: Rashad Coulter vs. Allen Crowder