The Film Room: Mike Perry

By Kevin Wilson Apr 24, 2019
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Mike Perry will be back in the Octagon for the first time since his submission loss to Donald Cerrone a little less than six months ago, as he challenges Alex Oliveira in a welterweight feature at UFC Fight Night 150 on Saturday in Sunrise, Florida. Perry started his Ultimate Fighting Championship career by winning four of his first five bouts, but he has compiled a 1-3 record in four appearances since.

This installment of The Film Room puts Perry’s exploits under the microscope.

Although Perry is known for his vicious knockout power and aggression, he is actually much better on the counter and uses his pressure to set up the opponent. He takes on a pressure-countering style through which he will back opponents to the cage with footwork, feints and half-powered right hands before baiting them to come forward so he can land his patented overhand right. Something to note about his counters is how he often strikes with full-fledged leading combos instead of those of the single precision variety. This allows him to simultaneously lead and counter, making him difficult to time.

Perry loves a firefight and generally splits his time in the cage between leading and countering to keep opponents guessing. He does not have the deepest bag of tricks on the lead and often gets caught up looking for the finish, throwing nothing but lead hooks and wild overhand rights. However, his knockout power and ability to absorb strikes and keep pressing forward has been enough to overwhelm opponents in the past. Something he needs to work on to have success at the highest levels is incorporating kicks into his pressure counter-boxing style. He has shown some nice leg kicks, but he does not throw them enough and rarely throws kicks to the body or head.

When Perry looks for a dogfight, he likes to rush forward with punches until the opponent’s back is against the cage, at which point he will bite down on his mouthpiece and unload with strikes. He integrates lots of knees and punches to the body during these moments, and it works wonders for him since the opponent is generally afraid of getting his head knocked off and chooses not to cover his body. Although he likes to pressure and counter, he rarely does it when the opponent is against the cage despite this being the best position for pressure counters. During these moments, most of his opponents are covering up and throwing wild punches while hoping to connect and move off the cage. Perry needs to learn how to be more patient during these exchanges and look for counters while the opponent is flustered and coming forward sloppily.

This style has allowed Perry to decimate lower-level opponents, but as his level of competition has improved, he has gotten more exposed with every fight. Cerrone, Santiago Ponzinibbio and Max Griffin all took advantage of his aggressive style and used it against him. Ponzinibbio and Griffin used it to land counters of their own, and “Cowboy” shot for a takedown off of a sloppy hook from Perry before submitting him on the ground. Perry is still only 27 and has plenty of time to develop his game, but a loss to Oliveira could permanently derail the hype train. Advertisement


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