Markus Perez fought seven times under the UFC banner between 2017 and 2021, facing the likes of Eryk Anders and Dricus Du Plessis, and says Gamebred Boxing is paying him good money for Saturday’s boxing match with late replacement Joe Riggs in Milwaukee.
Perez said on a recent episode of Trocação Franca podcast he was approached by UFC fighter and Gamebred Boxing promoter Jorge Masvidal in the gym about competing on the April 1 card against Paul Daley, and was instantly hooked by it.
“I told him I’m a MMA fighter and I’ll fight anything,” Perez said. “[Masvidal] said, ‘I’ll offer you this much for a boxing match.’ I was like, ‘What? More than I was making in the UFC? I’m in. Let’s do it.’ It’s good money, but my focus is on beating the guy.”
Daley withdrew on the week of the fight, with longtime MMA veteran and bare-knuckle boxer “Diesel” Riggs stepping in as a replacement for the six-round, 190-pound bout. When asked how much more he’s getting to box when compared to his UFC purses, Perez said it’s “three times” more.
“And there’s also going to be a card in May, too,” Perez said. “Masvidal told me he wants me on the May card as well, and I’m in.”
The former LFA middleweight champion won back-to-back fights in MMA and wants to compete in the cage again in the future, but said it’s being a nightmare getting opponents to agree to face him in MMA. Perez said “14 or 16 fighters withdrew” from planned bouts in the past 12 months, and boxing “is a great opportunity” to make money and test himself in a new sport.
“I’m very competitive in everything I do and I want to win,” Perez said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’m going there to win. Maybe that will open doors for me in MMA as well, sure, but I have to win.”
Gamebred Boxing 4 will be headlined by Roy Jones Jr. vs. Anthony Pettis and feature Jose Aldo vs. Jeremy Stephens and Vitor Belfort vs. Ronaldo Souza. Perez has his eyes on both “The Phenom” and “Jacare”, too.
“I told [Masvidal] to make me the backup for the ‘Jacare’ and Belfort match,” he said. “If either one of them pulls out, please, I want in. I want to be the stand-by for them — and whoever wins, ‘Jacare’ or Belfort, that would be a great match for the May card, too.”