Mike Perry burst into the conscience of MMA fans when he ran through Hyun Gyu Lim and Danny Roberts via stoppage in his first two UFC bouts in 2016. Even though Perry’s gone 3-3 since, his go-for-it-all style and candor inside the Octagon has made him one of the more intriguing fighters in the UFC welterweight division. But his comments outside of the Octagon have made the 27-year-old Flint, Michigan native one of the more polarizing MMA athletes as well.
Back in May, Perry posted a controversial video on his Instagram (which has since been taken down, but a video of it is found here) saying that he’s “legally allowed” to use the N-word whenever he wants because he’s two-percent African. Then at the end of last month, Perry released another controversial video, with the footage showing him doing a Native American war cry, wearing a headress and facepaint and throwing a tomahawk at a picture of his opponent on Saturday in the co-main event at UFC Denver, Donald Cerrone.
I support the legendary Native American warriors and I am tirelessly hunting this @cowboycerrone for his crimes of defamation ! I will catch him across state lines in Denver Colorado, November 10th for alll the people of the world to see the battle between #Cowboy vs #Platinum pic.twitter.com/xFdNY8abbL
— Platinum Mike Perry (@PlatinumPerry) October 30, 2018
The backlash to both instances have blasted Perry. Many have labeled him a racist. Some have said Perry is misunderstood and that the comments were taken out of context. When that topic was broached to the welterweight early into our conversation, Perry cut the question off and says he doesn’t concern himself with the bad and focuses only on the good.
“I know all of you want me to focus on the negative s— because that’s all people ask me about,” Perry told Sporting News. “They always ask how’s the s— talk and how are the b— a— on Instagram talking about me and saying all of these things. But I don’t care about any of that. I don’t think about that. I get a ton of positive messages and tons of positivity and there’s going to be tons of viewers positively watching an entertaining mixed martial arts fight [Saturday].”
After his answer, the rest of the question was posed to the heavy-handed striker and Perry continued with his explanation.
“The public is a huge group of diverse ideas,” Perry continued. “You can’t just say are you misunderstood. There’s a bunch of people who hate and a bunch who don’t. So, they’re all public. Some are b— -ass motherf— and some hate. It isn’t going to f— matter. Whatever I put on my Instagram is none of nobody’s business. That’s my Instagram. It doesn’t matter if I got 10 followers or 210,000 followers, I’m going to put on my Instagram whatever I was destined to put on there. It isn’t hateful, not fightful, not racist. What anybody wants to make of it, call it or anything like that, I’m just bored and I’m passing the f— time.”
The buildup of the fight between Perry and Cerrone has been focused on their short time together at the Jackson Wink MMA Academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Perry said the only interaction they had during their time together was one round of sparring back in April or May with him claiming that he “let Donald play around and throw some kicks”.
Cerrone left the team earlier this year when co-founder of the gym Mike Winkeljohn decided he was going to corner Perry instead of him for Saturday’s clash. To most, the fight should be ultra-personal for both Perry and Cerrone. Perry doesn’t know if it’s that way for Cerrone, but knows that it isn’t for him. “Platinum” just wants to get in there and get knockout No. 12.
“It just has to be another fight,” Perry said. “The whole thing with the gym and everything was their way to make it personal for me. The people being around with their whispers and didn’t want their friend Mike Perry beating up ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone. They tried to make it personal because that’s what gets in people’s heads. I understand the fight game and this is a professional business. I learned to use my aggressive anger professionally in my technique. It’s going to matter if I’m calm in there or angry when I’m in there.”
He added: “All [Cerrone’s] got is some power kicks. What’s he going to do in the fight? Keep kicking me all over the body. I’m going to punch him in the skull and rattle his brain and put him sleep.”