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Morning Report: Mike Perry goes off on Thiago Alves for pulling out of UFC Pittsburgh

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UFC 202 Weigh-ins Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

In a little over a year inside the UFC, Mike Perry has made a name for himself as an emerging talent in the marquee 170-pound division. This past weekend he was supposed to have the opportunity to truly announce himself as a future title threat when he was set to face former welterweight title challenger Thiago Alves at UFC Pittsburgh, but that chance was derailed when Alves withdrew from the fight just days before the event because he wanted to stay in Florida with his family during Hurricane Irma.

At the time, Perry remained pretty quiet about Alves withdrawal, but now that the event is over, and there is the potential for the UFC to re-book their fight, the 15th-ranked welterweight is being more vocal about the situation. On the most recent episode of the Five Rounds podcast, Perry, who also lives and trains in Florida, blasted Alves for ducking him, saying that he used the hurricane as an excuse to cover for the fact that he wanted no part of the young fighter.

“Listen, here’s an opportunity for him to make a hundred grand in one night. He beats me, he gets a hundred grand because if I beat him, I get the hundred grand. He gets more than a hundred grand, he gets more than me to show up. So right there, if he was comfortable enough to stay behind and not get that payday just for showing up, he could have taken that money, flown his family even further out of state so they never would have had to sleep overnight in the gym, his dog wouldn’t have died . . .

“I made the adjustments, I came from Florida, a bunch of my family and friends came from Florida, they all showed up. His team from down south, ATT [American Top Team], they all showed up. Hector Lombard was there. We all came from Florida. He was mentally defeated. This young kid was gonna whoop that ass.”

Instead of Alves, Perry fought short-notice replacement Alex Reyes, making quick work of the newcomer with a Performance of the Night winning knee in the first two minutes. After the fight, Alves took to Twitter to say that he still had an “ass-whooping” to deliver to Perry and Perry says he’s still willing to accept the fight despite the fact that he believes Alves ducked him this past time. He also threw in a steroid accusation for good measure.

“If they call me, at the end of the day the UFC makes the final decision. They know that if they call me and say, ‘Here’s a name, what do you say?’ I don’t say no, I say yes. You’re gonna pay me regardless. I’m gonna show up and I’m gonna win regardless, don’t care who it is.

“So if they call and they offer the guy who backed out three days before again - who almost hurt the card because people were there to see me. There was a lot of hype for me to go and fight. People want to see me fight, period, because I come to fight. . . So if they call me and want Thiago again, I’ll accept the fight, I’ll sign the contract, I’ll prepare to destroy him but he’s going to mentally break again. He’s not gonna come fight me, and if he does, he’ll be on steroids when he shows up and I’ll still whoop his ass.”

Alves has never tested positive for steroids but did fail a post-fight drug test after UFC 66 for a diuretic and was suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for eight months. Since then, Alves has maintained a clean record all while remaining at the highest levels of the welterweight division, including a win over UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes.

But despite Alves’ pedigree, it’s clear that Perry believes himself to be beyond a fight with a fringe top-15 fighter. After his win, Perry called out former champion Robbie Lawler and also made overtures to facing former interim champion Carlos Condit. Perry says he does not expect to get those fights because those fighters will want to face men ranked higher than him and he has the same mindset. He’d accept a fight with the unranked Alves but he’d prefer to face any of the guys in front of him in the rankings.

“The top 15 guys ahead of me. Who is gonna have a fight that’s gonna fall out? Call me on three day’s notice. S**t happens, 170-pound fighters lose fights. Call me.”


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