Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight head-knockers Mike Perry and Max Griffin threw down last night (Feb. 24, 2018) at UFC on FOX 28 inside Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.
Perry has seen ups-and-downs in his short UFC career, but he’s also demonstrated a ton of natural ability and more charisma than most of his peers. Last night, Perry was looking to return to the win column with a big knockout and get back on track. Griffin, meanwhile, was brought in to brawl with Perry in front of his hometown crowd, but “Pain” didn’t intend to lay down for his opponent. For the first time, Griffin had a full fight camp unhindered by other work, and he brought a new confidence into this fight as a result.
It showed in the cage.
Perry came out firing, looking to land his big right hand and lead leg kick. Grffin did a good job to avoid the heavy shots, looking to return with kicks and slow down Perry. He also worked the jab, looking to sting Perry as he worked his way inside. Outside of the low kick, Perry had a lot of trouble landing on his opponent. He tried to force the exchanges, resulting in him eating punches instead. However, Perry flipped the switch in the final minute, landing a big takedown and finishing the round in mount.
It wasn’t quite the brawl we all expected, but five competitive minutes of combat were in the books.
Griffin picked and moved early in the second, landing good straight shots to Perry’s face. Perry changed his approach a bit, showing more patience and targeting the body and legs more often. He was throwing one strike at a time too much though, which allowed Griffin to pick up points. Griffin’s jab and reach advantage were giving Perry a lot of trouble throughout the round, as his punches came up short much of the time. Griffin connected with a big left hook near the end of the round, dropping his foe to the mat. Perry seemed nearly asleep, but “Platinum” hung tough and managed to recover nevertheless.
Heading into the final frame, Perry was in desperate need of a big comeback.
A big counter right from Perry wobbled the knees of Griffin to open third round, giving Perry a chance to get back into the fight. Perry briefly took his foe’s back but fell off, and after that grappling exchange his opponent seemed to have recovered. However, a minute later, a massive left hook and right hand stumbled his opponent once more.
Griffin was smart though, as he continued looking to avoid the pocket. Perry was able to force the issue, continuing to land big shots as he pursued Griffin relentlessly. Perry hurt his foe a couple times but was unable to earn the finish.
Griffin was awarded the unanimous decision win as a result.
“Pain” fought beautifully here. He did a good job to kick the lead leg and slow Perry down, but it was really Griffin’s boxing that separated him from Perry. He established the jab early before using the threat of the jab to make Perry hesitate. Then, Griffin alternated between counters and bursts to land heavy shots on Perry, which further broke the athletic fight down.
Griffin showed great composure as well. Perry put heat on him and tried to force him into a brawl, but Griffin never fell too far off the game plan and always returned to his distance whenever Perry’s offense did get through.
Once again, this fight showed that Perry needs a real camp or at least a dedicated high-level coach. He shows some amount of development in each fight, but the game plan to defeating him has been written. Unless he’s able to really push forward technically and develop a new approach, he’s never going to have easy fights in the UFC.
He’s young and talented enough to do it, but Perry needs guidance.
Last night, Max Griffin out-worked his opponent en route to a decision win. Who should “Pain” face next?
For complete UFC on FOX 28: “Stephens vs. Emmett” results and play-by-play, click HERE!