Heavy-handed Perry lost by unanimous decision to relative newcomer Rodriguez, taking a beating that left his nose well out of shape and his face a bloody mess as he suffered a fourth defeat in five fights.
While Rodriguez claimed that the contest had played out “exactly” as he had expected, new father Perry pledged to put his family first and alluded to a possible future outside of the UFC with one fight left on his current deal.
“I used to be great,” Perry said, sharing a photo of himself on social media with baby Ocean and partner Latory Gonzalez, who again was in his corner for the bout.
“I don’t know what happened. I have a fight left on my contract. I’ll train hard, I’ll give it my all for my family.
“Whatever I have to do to give them a better life – I’ll bleed every day for them, if I have to.”
Known for his confrontational online outbursts, beaten Perry received little sympathy from viewers, some of whom joked that his last ‘win’ had been when he attacked an elderly man in a restaurant in Texas last summer in an incident that was caught on camera.
“Mike Perry’s nose fell completely off in the first round,” said one of the many critics to point out that ‘Platinum’ has been known to suffer nasal injuries in bouts. “They spent the remaining two rounds looking for it.”
Former UFC fighter Chris Leben implied that Perry’s disfigured face made him look like he was in a science fiction film. “I’ve got a good plastic surgeon, champ,” he added. “Hit me up.”
Others told Perry that he could prepare for a future with Bellator MMA, although Gonzalez remained supportive of her lover.
Warning: video contains swearing
“You’re still the greatest,” she told the 29-year-old after his third consecutive conclusive defeat on the cards.
“You are the strongest man to go in the octagon and do what you do. It’s only up from here. We love you, daddy.”
Californian Rodriguez recovered from his decision defeat to Nicolas Dalby at UFC 255 to record the fourth win of his five UFC fights.
© 2021, paradox. All rights reserved.