Mike Perry had just one person in his corner for his UFC on ESPN 12 fight against Mickey Gall: His girlfriend, Latory Gonzalez.
Ahead of the fight, Perry’s decision to forgo actual coaches in favor of his girlfriend, who had never cornered a fight before, was met with widespread skepticism.
In the end, however, Perry won an impressive unanimous decision victory over Gall, showcasing an improved ground game in the process.
After this important victory, Perry took the opportunity to rate Gonzalez’ corner work. While she offered little in the way of technical advice, instead focusing on icing Perry down and praising his efforts in the fight, it sounds like that’s just the way he wanted it.
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“She did a great job,” Perry said (via MMA Fighting). “She kept it very simple. She shouted a couple of things, I heard her during the fight and I remember telling myself, ‘Okay. There you go. She getting into it now. She was like, ‘Keep your hand up.’ There was one time he had swung and just missed. ‘Get your hand back up,” and I’m like, ‘Alright.’
“In the corner, when she was in there rubbing the ice on me, she kept asking me, ‘Hey, where do you want, what else do you want, what can I do?’ She was trying to do more for me and it was really cool just sitting in there quiet and just thinking about how the next round was gonna go.”
In the past, Perry has found some coaches are so focused on giving him beneficial technical advice between rounds that they fail to achieve their most basic duties as cornermen, such as bringing him his stool and icing him.
Gonzalez, he said, nailed both of those duties.
“My girl did such a great job bringing in the stool and the bucket with the water,” Perry said. “I was thinking, sometimes coaches be so ready to get in there and tell you something like they think they’re gonna make a difference for you and it’s for themselves. They want to feel like they told you something that helped you win this UFC fight. And they’re just getting money and attention and trying to take credit for what your work has done. Like, bro, carry that bucket and bring me that stool. (Gonzalez) looked better than any coach all-time bringing that stool and that bucket. She was so pretty with that little ninja face mask, killing it all night long.
“So yes, it’s good to keep it simple, I feel like guys yell too much and they’re saying stuff, you can’t even think. Are you even trying to listen to this person? Should I stop trying to listen to this person? Listen, your words ain’t gonna make a difference, bro. And his coaches words wasn’t making a difference. I’m in front of you trying to punch you in the face, you gotta deal with that. That’s it. You gotta deal with that. Not your coaches. Not your game plan. None of that.”
While Perry is satisfied with his decision to use Gonzalez in his corner, he admitted that he does intend to build a team of corner people for his upcoming fights.
“Maybe it was luck tonight that I didn’t—it was good luck to get this opponent—but I handled business and I’m gonna go back to the drawing board and try and put a team together that we can work for upcoming events,” he said.
What do you think is next for Mike Perry and Latory Gonzalez after UFC on ESPN 12?