Where Mike Perry goes, a whirlwind of trouble seems to follow. Inside the cage and outside of it.
At UFC 255 this weekend, Perry (14-6) takes on Tim Means. Of course, it was supposed to be Robbie Lawler, until Lawler was forced out of the bout due to injury. Still, the show goes on. “It’s a very similar fight. Still a banger,” Perry told Cageside Press during the event’s media day on Wednesday. “The dude is gonna throw some hands. He’s got some sharp boxing, little different boxing, it’s more point. Makes it more difficult I think. Robbie trying to throw some heat at my head would have made it easier to have hit him with a harder shot.”
Of course, overshadowing Perry’s win over Mickey Gall earlier this year, and his fighting career in general, has been that aforementioned whirlwind. Perry was caught on camera assaulting a fellow patron at a Texas restaurant back in July. Last month, Perry’s ex-wife, Danielle Nickerson, alleged she had suffered ongoing abuse at the hands of her former husband. A 9-1-1 tape featuring Perry’s mother, apparently in fear of her son, made the rounds.
Asked for his side of the story on Wednesday, Perry said that he denies the allegations. “Yes, I deny the allegations. That relationship, if you wanna call it that, had its ups and downs, and it’s long past due. We’ve been legally divorced, and there’s just nothing really to back what she is saying.”
“I hope she can move forward and find some better life for herself,” Perry added.
A seemingly relaxed Mike Perry didn’t stop there. “I feel that the truth is always out there, and I’m grateful for my opportunity to resolve the things that seem to come against me,” Perry stated when asked whether he felt grateful to still be on the UFC 255 card, given all that has happened. Which included a stint in treatment for substance abuse.
“I believe I’m a good person, and I don’t mean no harm on nobody unless they signed a death waiver,” he added.
Perry also opened up about the night of the infamous 9-1-1 call. “I disrespected my mother that night only, and that was by revving my engine. And I drove across her grass, so she called the cops on me,” said Perry. Insisting that he did not assault Nickerson that night (or any other), Perry explained that he had visited his mother’s house, looking to speak with his wife, who was at the residence. A request his mother denied.
“I was mad that she wouldn’t go tell that girl to come outside and have a conversation with me. But whatever, it’s cool.” Perry went on to say that his mother had always been overdramatic — “that’s probably one of the reasons that I never ever disrespected my mother, ever.”
Except the night in question. “I was driving across the yard, she called the cops and said she feared for her life!” Perry admitted. “That’s my mom. She’s sorry now, she didn’t know it would come out. She ain’t never had nothing she said come out.”
Perry, who will become a dad with girlfriend Latory Gonzalez next year, isn’t holding a grudge, at least not against his mom. “It’s all good. She was going for the jugular, you know what I mean? She’s like, ‘I’mma get you in trouble then.’ Mom don’t play. Don’t play with moms. I ain’t playing.”
UFC 255 takes place Saturday, November 21 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The main card airs live on PPV following online and televised prelims.