Mike Perry says Jackson Wink was never Donald Cerrone's gym, plans to 'rip his face apart
The fan-friendly contest, which serves as the co-main event of Saturday’s FS1-broadcast event from Pepsi Center, always figured to be an entertaining affair. But when Cerrone revealed he was leaving his long-time team at Jackson Wink MMA, at least in part due to the gym’s decision to coach Perry for the fight, it took on a brand new flavor.
Cerrone insists his issues aren’t with Perry but rather former coach Mike Winkeljohn. Perry said he blames Cerrone.
“That wasn’t his gym, man,” Perry told MMAjunkie. “He would come there sometimes to try and steal some bodies to bring to BMF Ranch so he could train over there because everybody was interested in going and hanging out with ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone at his ranch and seeing if they could get on a boat and (expletive). He looked out, and he did those things with me.”
Perry, though, says he didn’t take the bait. Instead, he laid a bit of a trap for Cerrone in the brief opportunities they did have to train together.
“When we sparred, I took it so easy on him, and I think that he thinks that I’m an easy win to get the most wins in UFC history, and that’s just not a fact,” Perry said. “Why have I not been finished? Why have I not been KO’d? I’ve been dropped. I’ve been bleeding since the beginning of the fight and been pouring blood on my opponent’s faces after.
“There’s no shutting me down. There’s no stopping me. There’s no quit in me. I am a relentless warrior, and I am going to rip his face apart.”
One of Cerrone’s primary concerns heading into the contest was the amount of time he’s spent training at Jackson Wink MMA over the years. His coaches, no doubt, know every aspect of his game, both good and bad. That type of intimate knowledge, he felt, shouldn’t be fair game for an upcoming opponent.
Perry said the greatest scouting value came in his team’s plan for dealing with what they see as Cerrone’s greatest weapon: his kicks.
“We focused a lot on the kicks and countering the kicks, deflecting and defending, getting inside the kicks, working from inside the kicks, working all the way out and closing the gap on the kicks,” Perry said. “It’s kicks we’re talking about here with ‘Cowboy.’ He’s a great kicker, but he’s very stationary.
“Other than the kicking range, which I’m not going to be in – I’m going to be all the way out or all the way in – that’s the only thing that he’s got, and I’m going to crush him everywhere else.”
Perry said he is willing to shake Cerrone’s hand Sunday morning, but “you’re my enemy right now.” It’s an emotion that rings true with his overall fighting philosophy, which he deems the “Platinum style,” a blend of skills partnered with “power and aggressiveness.”
“It’s a part of the sport,” Perry said. “I’ve watched some people I’ve met that want to fight, and they’re trying, and they’re training, and I just don’t see that fire in them. I put it in them. I do mean things to them, and I don’t even do it accidentally or, like, on purpose. It’s just natural. It’s like it comes from God that I’m in these people’s lives or they’re in mine so they can see and I can be around them and they can see, like, how you have to be to make it farther in this – because you’ve got to be mean. You’ve got to want to smash their skulls in with your fists. Period. And like, when I say that, it doesn’t do it justice.
“The way that I feel on the inside when I say, ‘I’m going to smash you skull with my fists, like I’m picturing it, and I can feel your brain in my hand. Like, I’m going to eat you alive. I’m going to (expletive) kill you, period.”
If it’s just talk from Perry, it’s awfully strong. Cerrone told MMAjunkie he expected that type of aggression from his opponent and plans to laugh it off until the two step foot in the cage.
At that point, it seems everyone is on the same page and expecting something special.
Perry is no different.
“It’s going to be a quick KO, or it’s going to be a bloody (expletive) battle,” Perry said. “Let’s do either one. Either way, I’m coming out on top. That’s what I know.”
To hear more from Perry, check out the video above.