Is it time for the UFC to intervene on behalf of Mike Perry?

A video recently surfaced featuring Mike Perry covered in his own blood with a smashed window next to him. Nobody knows how it happened, and fans were rightfully concerned. They called for him to get help and to refrain from further harming himself.

Perry later posted on social media, stating he just acted out.

Not the first time for Mike Perry

This is not the first time the welterweight star has been at the central subject of controversy.

Back in March, he knocked out a man outside of an Orlando nightclub, and he was also involved in a burglary charge with a battery arrest. Perry violated probation as a result of that. Just recently, he went on a screaming tirade at a restaurant in Texas and attacked someone there. Outside of these cases was the recent accusation of domestic abuse by ex-wife Danielle Nickerson, per MMA Junkie.

With so much going on and the cry for help by others, will something be done before it is too late?

Not long ago, there was a time when UFC Hall of Famer B.J. Penn was “acting out” in similar fashion. The former champion was getting into multiple fights beyond the octagon. The UFC ended up releasing Penn from his contract. It appears that any help for him or Perry would be from outside of the promotion that has been home to them for so long.

Does the UFC need to do more?

To get an idea of the type of help both fighters could seek, one has to wonder how other leagues and promotions handle these situations.

In pro wrestling, WWE has the Former Talent Rehab program, which helps past wrestlers (Maven, Scott Hall, etc.) deal with addiction. They also have the Talent Wellness Program, which helps current talent deal with substance abuse, tests brain function, and features other rehab programs.

  • In 2012, the NFL launched the “Total Wellness” program to improve players’ physical, emotional and mental health. Not only is it for younger players just getting involved in the NFL, but it’s also a resource for former players, and other football personnel. Resources provided include team clinicians, directors of player engagement, and the Player Care Foundation. They also have a free, confidential hotline called the NFL Life Line, which connects those who call to licensed mental health clinicians.
  • The NBA also has a program, which Kevin Love can take some credit for, as does the WNBA. USA Soccer has Recognize to Recover, while several NHL teams have been utilizing the Hockey Talks initiative.  
  • This is not to say the UFC does not have programs. In 2017, the organization partnered with and recently renewed its relationship with the Hospital of Special Surgery.

“Mixed martial arts is a combat sport that demands extensive training and caring for these athletes requires the expertise of experienced sports medicine professionals,” said Dr. Marx, sports medicine surgeon at HSS and the UFC’s Head Consulting Orthopedic Surgeon. “This partnership provides seamless integration of care and we continue to look forward to positively impacting the health and well-being of these elite athletes.”

The UFC also has a “Lab” to promote athlete training and rehab. Fighters like Robert Whittaker have been calling on the UFC to provide mental health services for fighters. As someone who has gone through attacks of the mind, Whittaker believes opening up is something that can do more help than harm as a fighter.

It is very graphic and it is ugly

If there can be something about Mike Perry, the UFC has some options on the table. Intervening could get ugly. Perhaps a small battle needs to be fought so the war is not so hard later. Even if they don’t get truly involved, the idea that options are there does sound refreshing.

Perry will fight again, that much is certain. Between his next fight and the fight after, however, will there be more cases of erratic behavior? Only time will tell. The 29-year-old’s future in the octagon and in eventual retirement likely depends on how soon he can find the proper counsel for his episodes of acting out.

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