Coach Mike Winkeljohn has had a very public falling out with Donald Cerrone. He called one of JacksonWink’s core original members in Cowboy a “cancer” in the gym, and claims everything is better now that he’s gone.
Things don’t seem to be sailing as smooth as Wink says though, and Mike Perry himself isn’t too happy about being caught in the crossfire. Perry lost to Cerrone this past weekend, and he admits that he didn’t like being part of someone else’s fight.
“Listen, I’m gonna tell you something here and it’s gonna sound crazy. I’m not gonna take nothing away from Cowboy. He won fair and square. But I felt like I was staring defeat in the face that night. I felt like, you know, okay, if it had gone the other way, they would’ve been like, oh, Cowboy had all the pressure. But me, I was fighting a fight that wasn’t my fight, it was JacksonWink versus Cowboy Cerrone,” Perry told Submission Radio.
“So, it was my coaching that took my body over. It was something, the way that we trained that I was ending up with takedowns on people. And then their Jiu Jitsu wasn’t the level of Cowboy Cerrone to counter me. So, I think I stared defeat in the face that night and I got in the cage anyways. I felt like I was gonna lose before I ever walked in. Maybe that’s just because I lost now, but I just felt like everything was against me. And it was just to make me stronger. I felt like I learned more from that loss than I would’ve ever learned from a win.”
Perry went on to state that he wants to make major changes to his next training camp. He says he plans to keep training with JacksonWink coach Frank Lester, but is hesitant to have Mike Winkeljohn corner him again.
“I like Frank “The Tank” (Lester). Wherever he’s at, that’s where I’m trying to work my kickboxing,” Perry said. “(If) he’s at JacksonWink, I’d love to come to JacksonWink. I’m willing to help the people there as much as I can, so I can get some help. But I’m also going back to Florida.
“My coach Julian Williams from Florida was a part of that fight, he was in the corner with me and Frank “The Tank” and Coach Wink. But I didn’t do all my Jiu Jitsu with him and Jacare Souza. I’m going back to Florida to do that. And then the way that I worked with Julian last camp — not that much, like a week here and a couple of days there — that’s how I’m gonna work with Frank “The Tank” keeping my mitts tight.
“I know what I fixed, I know what needed to be fixed. I came out here and fixed it. It was my back leg needed to bend, my hands and shoulders needed to come up to protect my chin and I needed to bounce around like a little butterfly. I came out and I did that. But Frank “The Tank” will still be a part of my team, and I got Julian Williams and I’m looking for — I don’t know who the third person that’s going to fill that spot is. I mean, does it have to be Winkeljohn? Because it seems like the big gyms run parts of the UFC. It seems like the UFC wants the big gyms to fight the big gyms, so whoever that is, that’s my key in, I’m not the key yet.”
As for why he doesn’t seem interested in having Winkeljohn in his corner again, Perry says he didn’t “click” with him, and their game plan was lacking.
“We just don’t click like that. I want to be around Frank “The Tank” (Lester). I want to be around Julian Williams. You know, being around Coach Wink I’m like, ahhh. I like him, he’s a great guy, but he knows that we didn’t click like that. We didn’t spend tremendous amounts of time together learning from one another,” he said.
“I believe that I can beat any given man on any given night, it’s just we were missing something in our gameplan.”
Perry went as far as saying he might even consider just having his manager in there instead of Coach Winkeljohn.
“I like how it worked out, but it’s just, I know what Julian brings to the table, I know what Frank “The Tank” brings to the table. I feel like my manager is a good third cornerman just because he does the most as far as advertising me and getting me bigger pay checks and things like that,” he said. “So, I haven’t found a truly valuable third person yet. I know that the value that Frank “The Tank” and Julian Williams gives me is tremendous, and I haven’t found someone to match that third spot. Why do you think Danielle Nickerson used to be in my corner? Because she did so many things that helped me out and took pressure off of me for fight week. She made it easy for me to make it into the cage.”