According to Mike Perry, leaving the UFC and joining BKFC was just a matter of giving the right prize to a prizefighter.
“These businesses compete for that Mike Perry money, and they and I, we all helped raise awareness for violent people all over the world who deserve more respect, and they’re willing to fight for it, and they fight for it over and over again, and they get something that they’ve never been offered before,” Perry said Wednesday on The MMA Hour. “I’m in the ‘Platinum’ Perry business, and whatever I need to do to take care of the fam is what I need to do.”
This past Tuesday, MMA Fighting reported Perry’s move to the bare-knuckle boxing promotion after five years in the UFC. Details on his departure were scarce, though UFC President Dana White later said the 30-year-old slugger’s contract with the industry-leader expired, allowing him to entertain other offers.
When he appeared on The MMA Hour in August, Perry revealed he turned down a fight with one-time UFC interim lightweight title challenger Kevin Lee and said he “missed out on an opportunity” and “might not be getting another opportunity.”
Perry didn’t go into any greater detail on Wednesday about the circumstances surrounding his departure, but he expressed no ill will toward his longtime promoter.
“There’s no need to say anything negative,” he said. “I’m grateful and happy for this opportunity, and I want to make things happen for myself, put my own flare into it.”
The particulars of his BKFC deal – other than pay – don’t matter much to Perry right now. Asked about a meeting with fellow UFC vet Julian Lane, who inquired on social media about introducing Perry to bare-knuckle, he made a crass joke.
“I’m a little fearful of the, I don’t know a sensitive way to say it, I’m a little homophobic when it comes to MMA fighting callouts,” Perry said. “I don’t want my opponent to want to bang, bro. So I’m a little hesitant with that one. We can make any fight happen, though.”
A reported January debut sounded like a good idea to Perry, who plans to start training for his new sport very soon. He wore his own shirt during the interview and said he’s interested in working with BKFC on a clothing line. Any opportunities for entrepreneurship were welcome.
“I’m interested in fighting great competitors for money,” he said. “When it comes to punching in the face, I think I can be skilled there. But there’s no way out, right, and there’s no defense in that sh*t, I don’t think. You’ve got to just hit them first and hit them hard, and then do it again, I guess. Get in and out, and stay in too, that clinch stuff, that’s going to be interesting.
“I’m excited to do it. There’s no way out. I can’t shoot a takedown. I’m actually quite a grappler, but you can still grapple – it’s like clinch grappling. It’s different.”
Perry doesn’t close the door on a future run in the UFC. But right now, he’s all about adding more zeroes to his bank account, and then he’ll worry about fulfilling his competitive dreams.
“Now, I’ve got these people’s money behind me,” he said. “They’re saying this is what we’re all going to put out. So I’m going to become this champion over here, and I can’t lie and say that I don’t see who the champ is, so let’s go. I’m not going to get that fight first, so I’m here to fight any man to prove my worth and wherever we get to a gold belt. I deserve a platinum or a gold, or a platinum and gold belt sometime in my life time, dammit.”