Rising UFC welterweight contender Mike Perry will look to continue his divisional ascension tomorrow night (Sat., Dec. 16, 2017) at UFC on FOX 26 from inside Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Canada, when he takes on fellow knockout artist Santiago Ponzinibbio in a potential Fight of the Night candidate.
Considering Ponzinibbio has won his last five Octagon appearances, “Platinum” Perry has had to put in a ton of preparation for their upcoming clash on FOX. Perry has even taken his planning to greater lengths by having sparring partners try to poke him in the eye.
This comes after seeing Ponzinibbio capture his recent knockout win over Gunnar Nelson in which the Argentinian allegedly poked “Gunni” in the eye on multiple occasions.
“I was like, ‘No, keep going, that’s good, I like it,” Perry said during a UFC on FOX 26 media scrum earlier this week when discussing his training sessions (h/t MMA Fighting). “It didn’t stop me or phase me for one second. This is what I do. I live for the pain. He likes to throw punches like a middle school girl. He likes to open his fingers. I don’t know if he’s trying to palm at the hands. I’ve seen some videos where he was literally trying to stick his fingers in people’s eye. He also does this one, too, where he sticks the knuckle if he can land it in your eye. I like that. Come with it. If your finger goes in my mouth, it might get bit off.”
Whether or not Ponzinibbio would actually target an eye poke, Perry is planning for all outcomes. After all, “Platinum” and Ponzinibbio are on similar career paths as two up-and-coming welterweight contenders who rely on their punching power to win fights. So if there’s any way Perry can gain the upper hand entering UFC on FOX 26 this weekend you better believe he’s going to take it.
As far as Ponzinibbio punching like a “middle school girl,” Perry may find out the hard way just how effective the Argentinian’s strikes really are. But to this point, Perry has shown that he possesses the chin needed to walk through some of the division’s best shots.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC on FOX 26 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 5 p.m. ET, before the FOX main card start time at 8 p.m. ET.