Idris Perry was born to fight
Fighting isn’t something that many people gravitate to but for Idris Perry, it’s always been a natural fit. The twenty-three-year-old lightweight is 3-0 as an amateur with two finishes.
All of his fights have been under the KnockOut Promotions banner, including his last one on April 21, at KOP 61. The Battle Creek, Michigan native defeated Dominic Billingsley in the second round by KO/TKO. Though MMA is now his dream, Perry didn’t drift towards the cage initially, the first area of combat Perry loved involved a ring and as he learned early on, wasn’t real.
“When I was a kid, me and my twin brother thought we were going to the WWE, when we thought it was real. Until then we were going there then when once I found out it was fake I changed career paths.”
The career change didn’t come until much later when he graduated from high school, but his fighting career started long before that. Naturally, it started with his twin brother before evolving into something much more.
“I’m a twin, me and my brother we grew up, we weren’t the wealthiest kids, we were poor. We got kinda picked on growing up, got into Middle school, we were smaller than kids and nobody really knew we could fight. Me and my brother we fought everyday until we were thirteen years old. That’s the truth, that’s not me being dramatic or anything.”
Soon the word spread that the Perry brothers could fight, it didn’t take long for others to try and test their skills and developed a reputation because of it.
i cant say thank you enough for the push i get from my surroundings. I will do my best to exploit what we stand for as a team. love you guys. also a big thank you to those who come to support me and sincerely want to see my successful. if i had to tagg you all i’d get no sleep😅 thank you!
110 Likes, 6 Comments – Idris Perry MMA (@playocardsright) on Instagram: “i cant say thank you enough for the push i get from my surroundings. I will do my best to exploit…”
“Eventually we started fighting people and more people would hear about it and it came to people challenge (us). I got a pretty big name just from fighting. I’m not saying that in the best way and that’s how people know me and people know of me as a fighter and that’s where I get a lot of my fans too.”
The Perrys were picked on because they weren’t as well off as other kids and happened to be smaller as well. The bullying didn’t stop when they went to high school. Upperclassmen began to pick on them and they continued to do as their dad taught them and fought back. Though they suffered the consequences.
“They were juniors and seniors at our high school, people were bigger than us, I was probably 120/130 pounds, my brother was probably ten pounds less than me. People thought they could take advantage of that. We beat them up, started going around the school. There was a big school fight and got kicked out of the school.”
They were sent to the alternative school in their neighborhood. The brothers set a goal to make it back to their high school and they worked hard, acted respectfully and got their grades up so they made it back. But while at the alternative school, Perry met the Battle Creek Central High School wrestling coach. The coach heard of him because of his antics but before that because of his father. The wrestling coach antagonized Perry saying he was scared of wrestlers and wouldn’t join the team. The athletic director also happened to be a former wrestler and decided to give them a chance on the team. The brothers came back and everyone thought they met two different people.
“Everybody seen we were doing good, making the school win and shit like that. Everybody was like oh y’all changed. We were like we didn’t change, we were just misunderstood, nobody took the time to listen.”
I miss this! #wrestling
34 Likes, 5 Comments – Idris Perry MMA (@playocardsright) on Instagram: “I miss this! #wrestling”
He wrestled his for the rest of his high school career and he said he learned a lot, through his wins and losses. He learned, it’s up to him to make himself a success.
“I think what G-d wanted me to do from wrestling is to learn that I can only lose because of myself.”
And he’s thankful for his mistakes.
“I’m thankful that I did get to lose then. I don’t want to have to take that loss now.”
Perry kept on learning after he finished his wrestling career by coming back as a coach. He kept learning and learning from a new perspective. He did go for a short time to a community college and is considering going back to school where he would wrestle as well at Trine University. He also learned from his father, his father was always supportive of him, telling him and his siblings that they were the best.
“My success, I think it came from the root of that, my dad telling me that and it changed my mind set from all these guys around.”
“I know where I’m supposed to be, I’m supposed to be superior, I don’t want to say it in the sense that I’m better than anybody but I’m supposed to be great. People make goals like oh I’m going to the UFC. I know I’m going to the UFC. I’m just letting the course run. But that’s a weak-minded goal I feel like to say I’m going to go to the UFC cause what are you going to do when you get there? My goal is not for the money, but I want to remembered like Ali, like Mike Tyson, like Tupac, Bruce Lee. I gotta be in that caliber. When they say my name, everybody know who you’re talking about, when they say Idris Perry.”
While training multiple times per day six to seven days a week, he still has to work a full-time job doing manual labor. Manual labor isn’t easy no matter what it is, but in Perry’s case, it isn’t the safest job but it provides him with plenty of motivation to become successful in his career.
“My job, I do tree trimming, line clearance, the second most dangerous job in the nation. That pushes me every day me to go to practice,” said Perry. “I can’t be doing this tree trimming shit forever.”
This isn’t his first manual labor job. In fact, after he first started training in 2015, Perry had to take time up to keep up with his job. Perry was working over 12 hours a day and every day he hoped to make it to a class to train but wasn’t able to. He hated the job and because of the seasonality he was out of work around Thanksgiving that year. But it was a sense of relief when it happened, because he could train again.
“I was working and I hated every day of it, that’s when I realized I couldn’t do that again. I could never work a job to where it stops me from training and doing what I love.”
Perry began training again and was looking for a fight soon after. He told those who would listen and they would nod but he later found out they didn’t think it would be a good idea. And now he agrees with them, lucky for him, he became sick and unable to compete. Afterwards he continued to train and was recommended for a smoker at the gym and that ended up cancelled. After not being able to fight, a teammate of his and MMA manager (his current manager as well) Liam DeMond of Cage Side Management offered to help him out. It didn’t take long after to get a fight, he was given a shot at KOP 58 where he won by KO/TKO in the first round against Matt Meyers.
In addition to becoming a fighter that everyone talks about, Perry has another goal, to become part of the first pair of twins to fight in the UFC. His brother Abasi Perry is also a fighter but in a smaller weight class. The brothers push each other but would never fight in the cage, after all they’ve fought enough at home already.
The UFC is still awhile away for Perry since he is still an amateur and unsure of whether he will pursue college wrestling or turning pro in the near future, he is still confident he can compete at the highest level.
“Me turning pro, I can beat people whoever is here. I believe I can beat people that are in the UFC. I’m not saying that in a cocky way. “
“Whoever is in the top of my weight class in the UFC, that’s who I’m training for.”
But for him, it’s more than fighting, it’s about being an example.
“I want to help kids who went through things like I did as well.”
“It would be shallow of me to so I want to be the best fighter ever and not do something with that.”