FRM Bareknuckle Boxer Mike Perry Face Off with Conor McGregor

Mike Perry Face Off with Conor McGregor at BKFC 41

Like the majority of the people at the 1stBank Center at BKFC 41, Mike Perry had no idea Conor McGregor was going to stroll into the building.

Perry’s warmup room was near the top of the arena, so all he heard was a loud commotion before his coaches told him the face of combat sports was in the building. Then he saw “Notorious” and started wracking his brain.

Perry was the favorite to beat Luke Rockhold. Assuming he won, how could he capitalize off the moment?

“I was already thinking, ‘I have to live up to the expectations,’” Perry said on The MMA Hour. “When Conor came, I was like, ‘This is really an opportunity for me to live up to the expectations and do what everyone expects me to do.”

McGregor’s presence could be explained one way: He had history with BKFC 41 co-headliners Chad Mendes and Eddie Alvarez, both of whom he’d beaten in the UFC. But Perry felt confident that everyone in the arena was really there to see if he could beat a former UFC middleweight champ — a bigger, more decorated opponent. That would put the spotlight on him, and he could get some extra shine using McGregor.

So he kept thinking.

“It’s hard, because first of all, you’re thinking, ‘I need to focus and think on who’s gonna win this fight first,’” Perry said. “But then it’s like almost like a destiny. I definitely had God’s help.”

Perry recently had suffered a personal tragedy with the death of a family friend, Michael Milmerstadt. He believed Milmerstadt was looking out for him and would guide him in the ring.

In less than two rounds, Perry made Rockhold quit with a flurry of punches that sent the ex-champ’s tooth flying — literally. The floor was his, and he decided to ask McGregor for a staredown, the most basic and to the point way of promoting fights.