Rising UFC welterweight contender Mike Perry will take on short-notice replacement Alex Reyes in the co-main event of tonight’s (Sat., September 16, 2017) UFC Fight Night 116 from the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Penn., but he very nearly didn’t make it to any more fights.
Perry was involved in a significant car accident on May 25th, and he suffered two herniated discs in his back in addition to headaches when he was rear-ended by another motorist. However, that was only the start of his side effects, as ‘Platinum’ told Ariel Helwani on this week’s The MMA Hour that he began experiencing pains in training because he potentially ingested a piece of metal in the accident:
“Something happened in the car accident and I possibly ingested a piece of metal. And I didn’t know about it for a couple of days. I was going to training and I had a friend of mine pressing me up against the fence, and he put his shoulder in my stomach and he pressed in, and he’s like 6’4” or 6’5”, so when he really leaned in, he’s got good leverage, and I didn’t think nothing of it — there was just this sharp pain in my stomach. And I just pulled guard and went to the ground, and I was like, ‘Wow, man, good job, dude, that was a lot of pressure, that took a lot of energy out of me.’”
Perry went into detail about just what the scarcely-seen and threatening injury did to his insides, which required him to undergo reoccurring medical tests as the metal ripped apart his insides. At one point, Perry said, he very nearly died from the metal:
“I was dying on the inside,” Perry said. “I went to the doctor the next day, or the day after, and they ran some tests and stuff like that, and they were like, ‘Did you eat a coin? Did you eat something? Did you ingest a piece of metal or something?’ And I was vomiting blood for a couple of days, and I had to go get [a procedure done where] they stick a camera down your throat to see what’s going on. I beat up my insides with that piece of metal, it cut me up and stuff, and it just took awhile to really get back to eating food, and my weight was low because I just didn’t have an appetite because of all the pain that I went through. It was pretty severe. It’s wild that as healthy as I am and as I was, and all the exercise and all the clean eating, just like, that I almost didn’t make it. That’s how I felt.
“I really didn’t think I was going to make it, man. I was dying. Literally dying.”
“Platinum” may be one of the most powerful knockout artists in the UFC right now, but even a warrior like him couldn’t stand up to the challenge of the back injuries in addition to the internal issue:
“Accidents are tricky, man,” Perry said. “Something like that, especially a tough guy like me, I’m feeling pain … it was a mix of a piece of metal in my stomach and a herniated discs in my back causing nausea, and I couldn’t decipher the two until they told me about both. And then I started realizing the differences in my body between back and stomach where the pain was really coming from, and it was coming from both places.”
Just as his health seemed to be on the edge of extreme danger, he rebounded when he apparently passed the piece of metal, which he never saw. His appetite is back to normal, and he’s feeling as fast and in-shape as he ever has heading into his bout with Reyes, who filled in for longtime contender Thiago Alves on only three days’ notice:
“I have no idea. It passed and I missed it. We tried to look for it, but I wasn’t digging through sh*t, but we were hoping to hear something and we never did.
“But I know I’m better now. My appetite is normal, and I’m just grateful, man. I’m thankful.
“I’m in the best shape of my shape, I’m stronger and better than I’ve ever been. I’m so fast, I’m so ready for this. I can’t wait for Saturday.”