Over Islam Makhachev and Sean Strickland, ‘King of Violence’ Mike Perry Becomes Fighter of the Year for UFC Legend After BKFC Success- “Beat Two of My Good Friends”

Published 01/02/2024, 11:10 PM EST

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Demetrious Johnson is up there with the likes of Jon Jones and Khabib Nurmagomedov as among the greatest to walk into the octagon. ‘Mighty Mouse’ left the UFC after disagreements with the promotion over financial matters to join One Championship.

And ‘DJ’, not content with being one of the greatest fighters ever, has found another way to memorialize himself in MMA history: The Mighty Awards. The American has started an annual awards show where he recognizes distinguished fighters and fights over various categories. And his Mighty Fighter of the Year Award went not to Islam Makhachev or Sean Strickland, but to an unexpected candidate.

Bare-knuckle star receives the 2023 Mighty Fighter of the Year Award


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Demetrious Johnson announced the winners of the Mighty Awards for 2023 on his official YouTube channel. The winner of the Fighter of the Year Award was bare-knuckle boxing superstar Mike Perry for defeating two former UFC championsLuke Rockhold and Eddie Alvarez at the BKFC this year.

His win over Alvarez earned him the bada**-sounding ‘King of Violence’ title. Perry himself is a former UFC fighter and was among the first UFC fighters to give the fledgling sport of bare-knuckle boxing a shot. The Michigan native took to the sport like a fish to water. He has become the face of the sport in a short period of time.

“My Fighter Of The Year is Mike Perry… He is the king of violence. He’s beat two of my good friends: Luke Rockhold and Eddie Alvarez, which, those guys are no joke. I mean he has embraced and embodied bare-knuckle fighting and that is why that gentleman gets my Best Fighter of the Year [award]: Mike Perry,” Johnson said. And Perry even gave an acceptance speech which ‘DJ’ played.


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Perry thanks ‘DJ’ in acceptance speech

Mike Perry seemed stoked to have received the award. Notably, if the Mighty Awards are going to be an annual tradition as Johnson has suggested, ‘Platinum’ has the distinction of being the first recipient of its Fighter of the Year Award. Perry thanked ‘Mighty Mouse’ for the award and shouted the latter out as one of the GOATS.


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“Good for health, good for wealth. Love to see it. Speaking of those things, honored I am to accept the Mighty Award for Fighter of the Year. Big shout out to Demetrious Johnson, The Mighty Mouse, one of the GOATS. Thank you so much, I’m honored to have this award,” ‘Platinum said. Do you agree with ‘DJ’s verdict? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Written by:

Kanishk Thakur


One take at a time

Hi, I am Kanishk and I am a UFC Writer at EssentiallySports. I love telling the stories of these magnificent fighters and this wildly unpredictable sport that is so frustrating and yet so joyous at the same time. I never really used to watch MMA, thinking it too crude or brutal a sport to deserve respect.
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Edited by:

Arijit Saha