Dan Hardy is backing ‘Platinum’ Mike Perry to beat Conor McGregor in a potential bare-knuckle brawl under the BKFC banner.

Mike Perry earned his third-straight win inside the squared circle on Saturday night, besting former Strikeforce and UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold in the BKFC 41 main event. However, what came after the bout is all anyone could talk about on social media.

Following his second-round TKO win over Rockhold, Mike Perry was greeted inside the squared circle by a BKFC title-toting Conor McGregor. The two men engaged in a standoff with ‘Platinum’ showing the former two-division UFC champion a great amount of respect. It was an intriguing moment for combat sports fans watching. Despite still being signed with the UFC, speculation immediately ran rampant as to whether the Irishman would trade in his four-ounce gloves for a set of hand wraps.

Mike Perry backed to give Conor McGregor all he can handle in BKFC bout

We certainly wouldn’t put money on it, but there’s no harm in speculating. Former one-time UFC title challenger Dan Hardy did exactly that during his appearance on Submission Radio with Kacper Rosolowski and Denis Skuratov. Sharing his thoughts on a potential bare-knuckle brawl between Mike Perry and Conor McGregor, ‘The Outlaw’ said:

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“The thing with Mike Perry is that he doesn’t mind taking damage,” Hardy said. “He doesn’t mind walking through fire and although Conor, he’s willing to do the same thing to a point. He does get slowed down and backed up. Mike Perry is a bit bigger. A bit more heavily muscled. I just think he’d be kind of able to get to Conor eventually by taking enough damage and wearing it well enough to be able to slow Conor down and get to him.

“It’d be an absolute banger of a fight though and you know, this is where you’d really see Conor’s boxing skills, his striking skills on full display. With no gloves on at all, it’s a game of millimeters as opposed to inches,” Hardy continued. “Conor’s always had good defense, but Mike Perry would most likely get to him and how would he deal with that kind of pressure and damage.”

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Dan Hardy Casts Doubt on Conor McGregor Returning to the Octagon for Fight with Michael Chandler

When he’s not busy pounding Proper No. 12 and squaring off with fighters in a rival promotion’s ring, Conor McGregor is busy training for his highly anticipated return to the Octagon. At least, he should be. Fans will first see ‘The Notorious’ compete opposite Michael Chandler on the 31st season of The Ultimate Fighter before he is expected to make his return to the Octagon this fall.

Whether or not that actually happens remains to be seen. Fans and fighters alike have grown increasingly skeptical as McGregor is yet to re-enter the USADA testing pool for a required six months of screening. Addressing the likelihood of seeing the Irishman return after the summer, Dan Hardy said:

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“I don’t know. I feel like there’s a bigger game being played because there’s still gotta be six months of USADA right? I feel like there’s an internal battle going on,” Hardy said. “Conor’s kind of flexing his brand within the combat sports world and basically kind of irritating the UFC enough for him to be able to push them around a little bit and get his way.

“He has such weight in the sport, in combat sports, and in the general mainstream interest of people that he’s able to get away with things. If anybody else had done that, they’d have been in so much trouble, but Conor will most likely turn it into a negotiating tool so we’ll see what happens, but I don’t see him fighting in the next four months against Michael Chandler unless we see his name pop up on the USADA website and I bet someone will spot that. I bet people are checking that every day for Conor McGregor’s name.”

Craig Pekios is a freelance writer born and raised in Bettendorf, IA. Joining LowKick MMA in May 2022, Craig has more than 2,500 articles published that focus on the world of mixed martial arts and boxing, including news, event previews, results, analysis, and op-eds. Aside from working with LowKick MMA, Craig has contributed to news outlets Overtime Heroics, Sportskeeda, and MiddleEasy.