Mike Perry had options as a free agent, but BKFC had no intention of letting him go.
The UFC veteran, who has arguably become the face of the bare-knuckle promotion after winning his first three fights, ultimately decided to stick with BKFC. Perry recently inked a new lucrative multi-fight contract, and according to the UFC veteran, there was really only one choice that made sense to him once BKFC made an offer he couldn’t refuse.
“They made it very easy to stick with them,” Perry told MMA Fighting. “I do really enjoy the boxing and having learned to deal with the bare-knuckle aspect of boxing, already having experience with it and stepping in there a few times against some good fighters.
“They made it really easy for me to choose them actually. They made it easy to say they were the only choice.”
As far as his compensation, Perry revealed that BKFC will pay him in the high seven figures for his new deal — a deal that dwarfs what he was previously making throughout his career, which obviously included a nearly five-year run with the UFC.
With guaranteed money on the table, Perry now anxiously awaits BKFC lining up any number of high-profile opponents after he already handed Rockhold and former Bellator welterweight contender Michael Page losses in his past two fights.
“I have to say they put about $8 million on contract,” Perry said. “I’ll just go ahead and put that out there because f*** them, they’ve got to fight me now because I’m ready to make this money.
“I got this money on paperwork, I got this house I’m paying for. I’ve got this family I’m paying for. I’ve got all these expensive things going on. I’m ready to fight, promote, talk some s*** and punch some people in their face.”
Perry didn’t reveal which other organizations pursued him as a free agent, although he quickly shot down any chance that a return to the UFC was ever considered. Despite his history with the promotion, Perry acknowledged that he will earn far more money competing in BKFC than he would going back to the UFC.
“The pay cut would have been too massive,” Perry told The MMA Hour in a separate interview.
As happy as Perry might be with his new contract, he knows that bare-knuckle fighting and MMA are still trying to catch up to boxing when it comes to the biggest paydays in the sport.
He’s not complaining about his new deal, but rather sending out a helpful reminder that the biggest paychecks in BKFC or even the UFC still don’t measure up to what boxing’s best are earning right now.
“When I started fighting, this was always my plan,” Perry said. “To put everything I had into the fights, into the entertainment obviously. I learned a lot. There was lots of ups and downs. But I’ve always planned on having these purses that were extremely large. Look, they’re not even that large compared to some of these fighters.
“Canelo [Alvarez] out there apparently making $40-50 million, [Floyd] Mayweather, $100 million. Conor [McGregor], $100 million. These guys are making real, real, real, real money. I almost hate to say I’m happy with my little bump that I’ve gotten and a lot of fighters aren’t in the position that I’m in. There’s a lot of fighters that I’m not in the position in, but I’m grateful for what I have.”
Perry knows that wouldn’t be an option if he signed with certain promotions, which was another reason why he’s enjoyed working with BKFC so much.
“Even with BKFC, one of the better perks is I could take a fight like this Logan Paul fight that I might get last minute,” Perry said. “They’re not going to pay me quite as much as BKFC is going to pay me, but I was like, it’s just an extra paycheck.”
If the Paul match doesn’t happen in October, Perry expects his next bare-knuckle fight to happen before the end of 2023, and he’s ready to prove his worth to BKFC after earning his new contract.
“There’s lots of perks in store for me,” Perry said. “I just have to stay vigilant and stay on task, stay focused and take it one at a time.”