ONE Championship titleholder Demetrious Johnson believes that BKFC’s Mike Perry was the greatest fighter of 2023.
Given that the year recently came to a close, there’s naturally been a lot of reflecting. Naturally, names such as Sean Strickland, Islam Makhachev, and more, were in the ‘Fighter of the Year’ discussion. The World MMA Awards handed out the award to one Leon Edwards last month. ‘Rocky’ notched two wins this year, over Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington.
While many fighters have staked their claim as the greatest MMA fighter of the year, Demetrious Johnson has an outside-the-box pick. Speaking on his YouTube channel, ‘Mighty Mouse’ named Mike Perry. In case you missed it, ‘Platinum’ had a very big year inside the BKFC ring.
In April, Mike Perry scored a knockout win over former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold. Later in December, he notched another victory over a former titleholder, battering Eddie Alvarez to score a second-round stoppage. That latter win earned him the ceremonial ‘King of Violence’ championship.
While Mike Perry didn’t officially fight in MMA this year, Demetrious Johnson believes he should still be recognized. Given the two knockout victories in the BKFC ring over former champions, ‘Mighty Mouse’ believes the honor has to go to Perry. Especially considering the fact that ‘Platinum’ has had an incredible career turnaround over the last few years.
To make two former champions in the form of Luke Rockhold and Eddie Alvarez quit is no easy feat. That also played into Johnson’s decision-making in terms of giving out the award to Perry.
Demetrious Johnson explains why BKFC’s Mike Perry is his pick for ‘Fighter of the Year’
“Mike Perry is my fighter of the year,” Demetrious Johnson stated on his YouTube channel, handing out awards for the 2023 year of combat sports. “Here’s the reason why: Mike Perry has stopped two world champions in his last two fights now. Mike Perry has gone off the cuff, and gone against the grain. What do I mean by that? This gentleman was a very successful mixed-martial artist, he has big wins.”
He continued, “… Fast forward to his future. Now he’s the ‘King of Violence’, he’s beaten two of my good friends, Luke Rockhold and Eddie Alvarez [in BKFC]. Which, those guys are no joke. He has embraced and embodied bare-knuckle fighting and that’s why that gentleman gets my best fighter of the year [award].”
“…There’s a thing to finish a fighter when they don’t have an option.” Demetrious Johnson concluded, praising the former UFC welterweight. “But when a fighter actually quits, ‘Like hey dude, I’m done’, you don’t see that in any form of combat… But he made Luke Rockhold and Eddie Alvarez do that.”
What do you make of these comments about Mike Perry? Do you agree with ONE Championship titleholder Demetrious Johnson? Who is your pick for ‘Fighter of the Year’ for 2023?
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