UFC President Dana White has given his first public statement on Mike Perry’s recent troubles.
In a video that surfaced Wednesday night, Perry was seen punching an older man following a dispute at a restaurant in Lubbock, Texas. According to a police report, the UFC welterweight allegedly struck at least three different victims with one claiming that he also struck a woman trying to break up the initial altercation.
Perry was able to avoid arrest after the incident, but the UFC took matters into their own hands.
On Thursday, the promotion released a statement stating that Perry will not be offered a bout until he completes a professional treatment program.
The reaction to the incident was a somewhat different approach from the UFC. Following the UFC 251 weigh-ins, White spoke with the media in Abu Dhabi about the incident and saw things in the buildup to Perry’s most recent fight with Mickey Gall at UFC on ESPN 12 that gave him cause for concern.
“We’ve had some guys do some counseling,” White told reporters following the UFC 251 weigh-ins. “I saw this coming in the last several months with Mike Perry. All you have to do is watch his interviews. Watch the way he’s interacted with [the media].
“He literally said in an interview leading up to his last fight, ‘I hate all of you. I hate the media, I hate the fans. You guys want to say stuff to me on Twitter and walk up to my face and be nice to me. I’m telling you, don’t walk up to me. If you see me in the streets, don’t touch me, don’t say hi to me.’ He said that leading up to that last fight. He is a man of his word, apparently and here we are today.”
White clearly wasn’t surprised by Perry’s behavior. However, he seems to understand where “Platinum” may be coming from because he’s seen attitudes change with many athletes over the years.
“He obviously needs some help,” White stated. “That’s not normal behavior. He’s gotten a lot more angry and agitated. You see this happen with guys, and girls when they start to get a little bit of fame, and start to get famous.”
One piece of advice that White relayed for Perry is to stay away from things that trigger such behavior. For example, stay away from platforms where he can interact with fans for the foreseeable future.
“I have a blast on social media,” White said. “You see a lot of people that don’t have fun on social media. There’s been some horrible things that have happened to people in dealing with social media. Everybody deals with it differently.
“I love criticism. I love, whatever you want to call it, that goes on with social media between media, fans and all that stuff. I’m just built that way. He is definitely not built that way and he’s definitely a guy that should stay off of social media.”
As of now, Perry still has a place with the UFC as long as he adheres to the guidelines placed before him. White says that he, along with the promotion, has Perry’s back as he looks to get in a better place.
“He needs to make some changes in his life, and we’re going to do everything we can to help him.”