Cardio is king; just ask UFC cardio machines Colby Covington (16-3), Merab Dvalishvili (14-4), or Billy Quarantillo (16-4).
And if you ask former CES and Cage Titans bantamweight champion Jay Perrin (10-4), he will concur that you can weaponize a cardio advantage.
Perrin has won seven of his last eight fights and was supposed to defend his CES bantamweight title against Asheik Ajim (5-1) on March 4. That fight got scrapped when Perrin got the call to replace Khalid Taha (13-4) on Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night event.
Perrin will tangle on a few days notice against Henry Cejudo protégé Mario Bautista (8-2).
He explained to Ryan Jarrell on his podcast what it was like getting the call from the UFC two and a half years after a decision setback on Dana White’s Contender Series.
“Really, it was more like a congratulations and alright, well we have to fill your slot,” Perrin told Jarrell. “We have a show in two weeks and have a guy that has to fight for a belt and needs an opponent. They really shifted gears right away and gave me my congratulations. I feel bad, but I really don’t feel bad. They are being professional but offered congratulations but they had to get right on the phone to fill that spot.”
Perrin’s game plan against Ajim was simple, use his cardio advantage.
Why would he change that against Bautista, who gassed in his last fight, a second-round TKO loss to Trevin Jones (13-7)?
Bautista has been finished in both his UFC losses (bringing him to 2-2 in the Octagon). Perrin believes the match up with Bautista favors him and is prepared to go the full 15 minutes.
“I’ve done a lot of tape,” Perrin told Jarrell. “I’m a high IQ fighter. I make reads in the cage very well. I just thing that my toolset is bigger and more diverse. I think it will be a good scrap. I don’t think I’m going to walk through him by any means. I can win this fight though. I will win this fight. Even on six days notice.”
The big thing for Perrin has been a difference in his training. He used to train at Sityodtong Boston under in Somerville, MA under Mark DellaGrotte and fight out of Hudson, NH.
Staying in the area and training in his comfort zone while fighting in CES, which holds its events in Rhode Island and Connecticut, would have been easy for Perrin.
He made a big move though and went out to Las Vegas to train at Syndicate MMA with John Wood.
“I don’t care what they tell you, leaving home is a beautiful idea and going off on your own,” Perrin told Jason Floyd on the MMA Report Podcast. “In the movies, it seems like it’s sweet, but it’s tough. In the year, I’ve grown so much as a person and martial artist and a fighter. I’ve grown everywhere that I possibly can and am around like minded people. Having the resources I have now, I’m infinitely more confident. I talked a lot of shit before, but I wasn’t as confident as I am now.”
With that advanced training, which features the likes of upcoming bantamweight title challenger Aljamain Sterling and other high level guys, Perrin is prepared for his fight with Bautista.
“Stylistically, I’m a nightmare for him to be honest with you,” he told Jarrell. “Stances-wise, he reaches a lot. Very susceptible to leg kicks. He doesn’t check leg kicks at all as you can tell with other fights of his. He either shoots or he strikes, he doesn’t do both. He’s a basic Mexican-style boxer. If you watch Mexican boxers, besides Canelo (Alvarez) they plod forward, they’re aggressive and don’t move their heads or their feet a lot. He does a lot of things that are superficial.”
Perrin’s debut in the UFC goes down Saturday in Vegas, and he’s confident it will be a different result from his Contender Series outing this time.
“I’ve been under the bright lights a lot,” Perrin told Jarrell. “It doesn’t bother me. I had the Contender Series’ fight. I learned a lot from that. I’m going to be in the Apex. I’m excited to avenge that decision I lost a long time ago.”