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Nobody’s ever confused Mike Perry for being a class act. Last year the former UFC welterweight got into things with Russian middleweight Magomed Ismailov, while traveling to corner longtime friend Alex Nicholson at an MMA event where he wasn’t even set to compete. His time in the Octagon was plagued with accusations of racist language and insults from Perry’s corner, and a long history of questionable statements from Perry himself. That’s to say nothing of the domestic dispute accusations between Perry and his romantic partners.
That said, the man has always known how to draw attention. When he finally left the UFC in 2021, following back-to-back losses to Daniel Rodriguez and Tim Means, promoters came running. Mike Perry quickly jumped on the recent trend of modified rules boxing bouts, hooking up first with Triller and their “Triad Combat” promotion. Soon after he made the move to BKFC and bare-knuckle boxing.
After wins over Julian Lane and Michael ‘Venom’ Page in 2022, Perry is all set to return to action this April, against former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold. The two men faced off at a media event this week, where things got pretty nasty.
No, not that kind of nasty. Just gross.
Mike Perry picked his nose and wiped it on Rockhold’s jacket
Okay, sure, it’s a goofy coat. Rockhold looks like he’s wearing his grandma’s carpet. And Rockhold did kinda instigate the exchange by getting all weird with his fist pose. But still, combat sports are about dignity and honor, gentlemen.
Perry and Rockhold are set to face off in the main event of BKFC 41, going down on April 29th in Colorado. The fight card is also expected to host the (bare knuckle) boxing debut of former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez, taking on former featherweight title contender Chad Mendes. Alvarez hasn’t competed in any form of combat sport since 2021, when he dropped a unanimous decision to Rae Yoon-ok in ONE Championship. Alvarez announced his split with ONE the following year, after just four fights in three years with the promotion.
Luke Rockhold looking for first win in more than 5 years
For Rockhold, this turn to boxing marks just the latest in his extended ‘is he or isn’t he’ retirement saga. The longtime American Kickboxing Academy talent first hung up his gloves back in 2019, after a loss to Jan Blachowicz in what was intended to be a long-term move to light the light heavyweight division. After a little time sitting on the sidelines, however, the then-37-year-old returned to action in 2022, for a FOTY candidate against Paulo Costa.
Despite the thrilling nature of the bout, Rockhold once again announced his retirement from MMA after the loss, this time with the intention of securing his release from the UFC for the potential to compete as a boxer. The bout against Perry will mark Rockhold’s first time competing officially outside of BJJ and MMA competition. Since leaving the UFC, Rockhold has also announced that he may yet return to some in-cage action as well, now that he’s a free agent.
Bare Knuckle FC 41: Perry vs. Rockhold takes place at the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield, CO. Here’s a look at the complete fight card lineup.
BKFC 41 Fight Card
- Mike Perry vs. Luke Rockhold
- Eddie Alvarez vs. Chad Mendes
- Bec Rawlings vs. Christine Ferea
- Steve Herelius vs. Josh Copeland
- Chris Camozzi vs. Dan Spohn
- Brandon Girtz vs. Christian Torres
- Mitch Sybold vs. Jack Willoughby
- BJ Lawrence vs. Wayna Reid
- Jessie Stalder vs. Roderick Stewart
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