BKFC’s David Feldman hopeful Mike Perry accepts new contract offer: ‘This is his calling’
Mike Perry arguably became the face of bare-knuckle fighting with his last two performances, wins over Bellator star Michael Page and ex-UFC champion Luke Rockhold.
Now the 31-year-old fighter has positioned himself to score a lucrative contract after completing his original three-fight deal with BKFC, his last bout having come at BKFC 41 in April. Perry has never been in a better spot to cash in on the popularity he’s built, especially after a viral faceoff with Conor McGregor following his win over Rockhold.
Negotiations are ongoing, but BKFC president David Feldman admits Perry is a priority for the promotion — and he’s confident the two sides will eventually reach an agreement.
“I want to bring him back, absolutely,” Feldman told MMA Fighting. “He personifies everything that I’m looking for in this sport as far as fighting, as far as the way he acts, he sells himself, he’s doing good with the sport. I think we have a great relationship. I think he’ll come back. [A] great offer’s on the table, and if he doesn’t [re-sign], I wish him the best. But I don’t think that’s going to be the case.
“He’s built for this sport. He’s truly, truly built for this sport. If he goes back to mixed martial arts, he’s not a grappler, he’s not a ground guy — although he can grapple, I don’t know if that’s his calling. I know this is his calling. He’s already a superstar here. He’s become a well-recognized star already and I think he can be a superstar with us. Hopefully he comes back. I think he’s going to come back, but time will tell.”
Perry was a recognizable name during his five-year UFC run, but he’s been headlining events ever since arriving in BKFC and the promotion has put a lot of push behind him.
Last August, Perry engaged in a war with Page over five rounds, but when the fight was declared a draw, the battle continued with a contracted sudden death sixth round. Those extra minutes allowed Perry to secure the victory in a high-profile fight against a highly touted contender from Bellator.
He followed that up with the fight against Rockhold, who was significantly taller and bigger, but that didn’t seem to matter much to Perry. Perry slugged it out just the same until shattering Rockhold’s teeth in the second round, which brought their fight to a close.
It’s those kinds memorable battles that has Feldman believing Perry can continue to put on jaw-dropping performances against other notable names across combat sports, which speaks to the importance of bringing him back on a new multi-fight deal.
“For Mike, the person that I got to know and really like, he’s a family man and everything like that, I’d hate to see him go back to mixed martial arts only because I don’t think he’s going to be a superstar there,” Feldman said. “Can he do well? Yeah, absolutely he can do well. He can crack, he’s a fighter. But I think this is his home, this is his calling. I think this is what he should be doing.
“I think we found each other at the right time and I’d hate to see him go somewhere else. I don’t think he’s going to [leave], but if he does, I wish him the best. I think this story has just started with Mike Perry and Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships. I think there’s a couple more pages and a couple more chapters to write.”
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