Former UFC welterweight Mike Perry came to close to sparking a brawl with a Russian fighter during a heated press conference.
Perry, 31, travelled to Russia to corner his friend and former UFC middleweight Alex Nicholson at a Ren TV Fight Club event this Friday in Moscow. The promotion have only held one event before, when white-supremacist and Neo-Nazi Vladimir Datsik beat MMA veteran Jeff Monson on their inaugural card in August.
Nicholson headlines Ren TV’s event against Russian fighter Vagab Vagabov, who holds an MMA record of 30-1. The American was joined by his longtime training partner Perry at a press conference in a TV studio to promote the fight, but for some reason ‘Platinum’ squared off with middleweight fighter Magomed Ismailov despite not being contracted to fight him.
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Perry pushed Ismailov as the pair came squared up to each other and told him to “get out of his face”, which prompted the Russian to taunt him. Ismailov pretended to throw strikes at Perry who threatened to “slap him on his forehead”. Tempers boiled over when Perry called Ismailov a “mother****er” as punches were thrown by both men, who were quickly separated by security and others onstage.
Addressing the scuffle on his Instagram, Perry said the common insult “mother****er” is taken very seriously in Russia which is what prompted Ismailov to attack him after he said it. “I almost got jumped in there,” Perry said. “Luckily, people was breaking it up. In Russia if you call someone a motherf*****, they think you’re talking about someone’s mom so then the whole team coming to get you, but in America when you say motherf***** it’s like normal words. It’s normal. I’m not talking about your mama, chill bro.”
Ismailov, who holds an MMA record of 17-3, then apologised for misunderstanding Perry’s words and the pair shook hands as cooler heads prevailed onstage. Perry, who recently called for a bare-knuckle fight with UFC star Nate Diaz, previously spoke about his eagerness to step into enemy territory earlier where he and Nicholson would likely be outnumbered.
“The whole fighting community knows what fighting Russia means,” Perry told The Fighter vs. The Writer. “We’re going to one of the most dangerous countries in the world to fight one of the most dangerous men in the world and it’s me and my bro versus everyone over there.”