Mike Perry added one to his highlight reel on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 108 when he knocked Jake Ellenberger out cold with a ferocious second-round standing elbow that left the veteran down on the mat for several minutes. The victory was easily the biggest of Perry’s young UFC career — his first triumph over a ranked opponent — and afterward he appeared unfazed with what Ellenberger had to offer, with Perry even suggesting that his 32-year-old foe consider calling it quits from the UFC.
“I know he had power, man. I’m sure he did,” Perry said in Nashville after UFC Fight Night 108. “I mean, top-15, and he’s got all them muscles. We have a very similar body style. But I knew that’s all he wanted, was the right hand. I was setting up the elbows and the left hooks to counter that, that overhand right, and that’s what finished the fight for me. So, I was never worried about his power.
“I think he was taking too long to get back to me, man. Maybe it’s time for him to hang up the gloves. I’d be happy to be his last fight. Maybe he’ll come back and beat somebody up, I don’t know.”
Perry’s knockout of Ellenberger was especially scary because of how long it took “The Juggernaut” to recover. Ellenberger stayed on the mat for several minutes and even received medical care inside the Octagon, although Perry is confident that Ellenberger will be able to successfully recuperate from such an alarming situation.
“Man, y’all hear how I talk and how I talk about these people,” Perry said. “I don’t think I’m the guy who’s going to be the first dude to kill somebody in the UFC. I think that I have clean knockouts, and with a clean knockout, people go to sleep, but then they wake up and they’ll heal up, they’ll be fine. People do this, we get hit everyday. I’ve seen bad knockouts before. If that were to happen, man, I always pray for my protection and their protection, but I pray for victory too. I’ve got to win, so that’s how I win. That’s how I do it.”
Nonetheless, the win was a big one for Perry, who bounced back from his first career loss last December to Alan Jouban and pushed his UFC record to 3-1.
All three of Perry’s Octagon victories have now come via devastating knockouts, with Hyun Gyu Lim and Danny Roberts befalling the same fate as Ellenberger. But Perry’s stoppage at UFC Fight Night 108, in particular, was a thing of beauty — the type of finish that instantly lands someone on the shortlist for 2017’s Knockout of the Year.
“That’s exactly what I’ve been training to do,” Perry said. “I said I’ve been setting those things up. I knew it was going to be the left hook and the right elbow, and it was. Both of them, technically. The left hook started that. It probably had him dazed standing in the clinch with me. He didn’t expect a short elbow. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen an elbow KO like that from anyone. Maybe the one (Anderson) Silva did (against Tony Fryklund) in a different organization, but I’m proud of myself for that. I worked hard for this.
“I said ... I’m going to do things and use my imagination to do stuff that nobody’s done or been doing, and that’s what I did tonight. I came out there and I tried to kick him right in the face in the first round. I did everything I said I wanted to do tonight, everything I said after the fight, everything I did after the fight. Shoutout to B.J. Penn and GSP because I smacked my face like B.J. Penn used to do and I did the windmill (dance) better than GSP used to do, but I like GSP. I said and did everything that I wanted to do, so I’m really proud of myself, man. It’s getting harder now. Let’s go. I’ve got to fight somebody better now, so I’m just going to right back to the gym and keep working.”
Considering that Ellenberger was ranked No. 13 on the UFC’s media-generated rankings ahead of UFC Fight Night 108, it’s likely that Perry will find himself in the top-15 among the UFC’s welterweights next week. That means his next fight will likely be against another ranked foe, and Perry wasn’t shy about sending a message to the rest of the division on Saturday night.
“Here I come,” Perry said. “They see me, they don’t want to fight me. They don’t want to get hit with that power. Alan Jouban did well, he ran, he moved. He ran real fast. But you know what, I went into that fight with a gameplan, and I usually don’t do that. I don’t know, I was trying to be a different type of fighter in that fight. And tonight I came in here composed, acting like I do this everyday, because I do.
“So, the rest of the you that do this everyday who ain’t doing it with me, I’m coming for you and you’re probably coming for me. We’re in each other’s way. You know I’m climbing to the top. I’ve seen Tyron Woodley on many occasions and I think he believes in me. He thinks I’m coming to see him, and I am.”