MMA attracts a lot of unsavory folks. It’s an unfortunate fact for combat sports as a whole, whether it’s MMA, boxing, pro wrestling or anything else. A lot of the people going in there are damaged goods in one way or another. The UFC, for all its glitz and all its glamour and all its mainstream popularity, is no different.
There are lots of genuinely bad people in the UFC, from the mobster ex-owners of the UFC to its scumbag president to fighters with long histories of violent crimes or domestic violence like Anthony “Rumble” Johnson and Thiago Silva, the UFC is as seedy and slimy as any other organization in the world.
The latest example of that is Mike Perry. The 24 year old made his successful UFC debut on Saturday at UFC 202 and, while he posted an electrifying knockout over fun veteran Hyun-Gyu Lim, it’s not his in-cage performance that’s getting a lot of attention right now. It’s everything that came before that.
Speaking with Ariel Helwani on MMA Fighting’s The MMA Hour, he revealed the following:
“I was arrested five or six years ago for burglary. And I was put on two years community control, three years probation, after being out on bond for a year. I’m actually sitting outside that building right now, waiting to walk in…I did violate the community control with a failed drug screen. And I did almost six months in jail. I got out, they reinstated my probation and I’ve been working on that ever since. I’ve got less than a year; I should get out in May or July, in between there, of next year.”
While burglary isn’t the worst crime a person can be convicted of and Perry is making the moves in the courtrooms to get things sorted out:
“They give me permission to work, I was just in Vegas; they gave me permission for that. Absolutely. It’s not even the beginning. I’ve been turning my life around, I’ve just been on probation for so long. I would say it has guided me in a better way. I had to learn things the hard way in life. I didn’t always have proper guidance, and I guided myself a lot. Probation kind of helps me, I guess. I’m grateful for whatever God puts me in my path.”
Unfortunately, while Perry is doing everything properly to get things sorted out legally, it’s very easy to hate him for how his UFC debut shook out. After making an ass of himself of the weigh-ins by pretending he was going to suckerpunch Lim, his corner got him in hot water for shouting some pretty damn racist things about his opponent, saying “He can’t even open his motherf—ing eyes.”
Even though it wasn’t actually Perry who said this, and even though the person who did say it has since apologized saying “I respect every man who steps in the cage and my comments were insensitive towards lim (sic) I was hype for my brother but It’s all love no hate,” why is the UFC even bothering with this dude?
Perry isn’t a stand-out talent. There are literally hundreds of other fighters they could pick up and slide into his spot that don’t have to clear a fight with their probation officer first and probably won’t have their corner shout racist things during fights.
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