Mike Perry ready to go against Jake Paul if Tommy Fury drops out yet again: ‘I think I’m the tougher fight’



Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

If Tommy Fury fails to show up to fight Jake Paul on Feb. 26, Mike Perry will be more than ready to take his place.

The UFC veteran turned bare-knuckle fighter was secured as a backup opponent for Paul after two previous matchups booked against Fury fell apart. There was actually some concern just recently after Paul revealed that Fury declined an appearance for a pre-fight press conference scheduled in Saudi Arabia, although the former reality show star eventually fired back while proclaiming his plans to arrive in the country 10 days ahead of the event.

Either way, Perry is preparing like he’s fighting Paul in a matter of weeks because he knows there’s definitely a chance he’ll get the call that Fury is out.

“I’d be ready to go at the last minute if necessary,” Perry told MMA Fighting. “I think that’s why they announced I’m the backup because it’s a foolproof plan. Mike Perry would be ready to show up and fight.

“The thing is with the Paul brothers and the Fury’s, too, it’s a business and they’re choosing to do business with me. Because of my past, my history, I always show up and I’m down for a fight and I give it all I got. That’s something you can count on.”

Prior to his role as a backup being announced, Perry actually posted a copy of a bout agreement he received for a fight against Paul.

It turns out that offer was in place just in case Fury didn’t come to terms with Paul’s team at Most Valuable Promotions but Perry didn’t hesitate for a second to accept the challenge when it was presented to him.

“I had an idea [this would happen],” Perry explained. “Management called and said it’s either you or [Tommy Fury]. If he doesn’t show, it’s you and they were struggling to get him to sign a contract. I sent the contract back the first day.

“I’m just a dirty little tramp who was ready to go drop the hammer on them. It’s no big deal. I believe I will have opportunities and there are fights for me to have.”

Admittedly, Perry hasn’t spent much time studying Fury’s game or his past fights but he’s been told numerous times that the 23-year-old younger brother of heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury isn’t expected to be the biggest test of Paul’s career.

Perry won’t spend much time trying to tear Fury down but he knows what kind of fight he would give Paul if they actually get a chance to throw hands in the ring.

“Fury, I guess he hasn’t really been proven yet and his last toughest fight was against one of Jake’s sparring partners who Jake said was an easy matchup for him,” Perry said. “I think I’m the tougher fight for any guy in any competition. I’m out here giving it my all. I don’t have any quit in me. I’m a relentless warrior forever. It’s marked on me for a reason and that’s my game plan. To just stay in it, use my chin how I have to, and just stay in the game and keep pushing these guys back.

“Anybody calls on me, they know what time it is. I’m showing up, I’m showing out and I might knock you out.”

When it comes to Paul and his 6-0 boxing record, Perry gives him credit for taking a fight against ex-UFC champion Anderson Silva, who is widely regarded as one of the best strikers in MMA history.

That said, Perry hasn’t been all that impressed by Paul’s boxing skills even after watching him defeat Silva by unanimous decision this past October.

“I didn’t see the Silva that I thought I might see in that fight,” Perry said. “That’s not the Silva that I know, that all the fans who know Silva love. He’s been on a downfall at the end of his UFC career. I know it was boxing. I know he beat Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. or something.

“No, I wasn’t too impressed with Jake’s ability to run away and cower and feint a lot and not really bring the action. He’s a tough kid.”

While he’s staying ready for the fight, Perry concedes that it’s entirely possible that Fury will still show up to face Paul and he’ll be left as the odd man out.

If that happens, Perry says that he’ll still push for a future showdown against Paul because he’s confident he’ll ultimately be the bigger and better fight even if he has to wait until later in 2023 to prove it.

“I’ve been saying it — I’m the money fight,” Perry said. “I’m the fight to make if you want to prove yourself, if you want the accolades. I’ve been in the game a long time, I’ve fought a good who’s who of opponents.

“It should happen. Let’s go. If he beats Tommy Fury, then someone needs to stop him and it’s me. Let’s go. I’ll shut him down.”

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