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Mike Perry explains ‘prehistoric rooster’ dance that followed recent UFC win

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Pittsburgh- Perry vs Reyes
Mike Perry put on quite a show at UFC Pittsburgh.
Don Wright-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Perry created one of September’s most memorable gifs with his post-fight celebration at UFC Pittsburgh.

After scoring a vicious 79-second knockout over Alex Reyes, Perry strutted around the cage imitating — no joke — a rooster. With his mohawk doubling as the comb atop a rooster’s head, it was a skillful bit of silliness from the hard-hitting welterweight contender, who joked recently on The MMA Hour that he was emulating a “prehistoric rooster.” Perry also explained the genesis for his post-fight celebration that went viral.

“Martial arts is all about different animal styles, really, if you look at it,” Perry said.

“Have you ever seen Ong-Bak: [Muay] Thai Warrior? He’s calling out these techniques in this kata. He’s shadowboxing Muay Thai and he’s got a name for everything. He comes up with a knee and comes down with this 12-to-6 elbow and he calls it, like, ‘smashing elephant’s tusk’ or some sh*t like that. Or Jackie Chan’s drunken master, he’s like, ‘Crane picks up box,’ and he gets up on one leg, or, ‘Monkey something.’

“Animals and martial arts are kinda linked together, or humans took animals’ strength and turned them into martial arts moves hundreds of years ago, thousands of years ago, however you want to say. Whenever martial arts came about, people took it off of animals’ abilities, and you know, there’s roosters. The Chinese Zodiac for example, everything is linked to martial arts, because it’s like the one real thing in life that just has been — there’s dancing since time began, man; there’s people’s movements with their bodies, things to do with it.”

In a little over a year, Perry, 26, has already developed a reputation as a fan favorite in the UFC for his eccentric personality and penchant for putting foes to sleep in grisly fashion. The fast-rising welterweight is 4-1 under the UFC banner, with all four of his wins coming via brutal knockouts.

“Platinum” will look to continue that run on Dec. 16 when he meets top-10 ranked opponent Santiago Ponzinibbio at UFC on FOX 26. And if things go well, Perry said he “absolutely” plans to continue his ode to the animal kingdom with another funky display in Winnipeg. He may even perform a tribute to his favorite animated bear.

“Next time it’s going to be, like, a tyrannosaurus rex or the Kung Fu Panda roll,” Perry said.

“I used to think I was the drunken boxer, because of how I moved and things like that. It’s like (Jorge) Masvidal, he said he’s been getting ready for ‘Wonderboy’ by watching Karate Kid and karate movies all week. That’s real stuff, man. That’s all mental. I watched DragonBall Z as a kid — I am the greatest fighter in the universe. That’s how I feel. So it’s like — you’ve seen the Kung Fu Panda? That’s one of my favorite movies, man. One, two, and three; those movies are amazing. Darren Till calls himself a gorilla. Conor McGregor calls himself a gorilla. I want to be the Kung Fu Panda, man. ‘Kung Fu Panda’ Perry, baby. Let’s go.”

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