The brash fighter nicknamed “Platinum” had left a comment on Gastelum’s Facebook page saying that Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza is going to choke Gastelum out when the two meet at UFC 224 next week.
So Gastelum thought he would friend request Perry just to mess with him.
“What happened was, I woke up one day, and I went to check my Facebook,” Gastelum told reporters Wednesday. “Then he, randomly, I got a Mike Perry comment. I’m like ‘alright, I’m gonna check it,’ and it said ‘Jacare is going to strangle you.’ I’m like, alright, I didn’t reply, I didn’t ‘like’ it or anything. What I did was, I tried to mess with him just to see what he would do, and I sent him a friend request.”
And then, well things didn’t exactly go great, Perry dragged Gastelum on Twitter over the friend request, which made social media a rough go for the middleweight contender for a few days.
“I kind of feel like it backfired,” Gastelum admitted. “Because he blew it up on Twitter, he kind of made me look like a fool or at least I felt like it. But yeah, I’m not worried about him. I was just kind of messing around just to see what would happen.”
Fortunately for Gastelum, he’s developed a thick skin about social media interaction, and has come to almost feel sorry for some of the online world’s sadder trolls, which enabled him to put the little episode with Perry behind him.
“I’ve learned that people will say anything online,” Gastelum said. “Anything to get your attention, to get you to respond to them. And many of those people are the saddest people on earth. I don’t pay any attention to it. Only sometimes when I want to have some fun. ... I used to read the comments and think ‘oh my god, what are people thinking about me, what are they saying about me?’ But now it’s just like, I realize some of those people are the most saddest people on earth.”