The bare-knuckle brawl between Mike Perry and Luke Rockhold at BKFC 41 was the event that everyone was talking about last month. Fans were in for a treat as Perry secured a second-round TKO against Rockhold, but the highlight of the night was the surprise appearance of Conor McGregor.
McGregor stepped inside the 1stBank Center during the evening’s featured bouts, carrying a bottle of his Proper No. 12. Once the main event wrapped up, Perry called out McGregor.
McGregor stepped into the ring with a BKFC title belt draped over his shoulder. It was a surreal moment, but according to Chael Sonnen it was never supposed to happen.
Sonnen was an analyst at the event. He revealed on his Beyond the Fight YouTube series that Perry was originally supposed to call UFC Hall of Fame inductee Donald Cerrone into the ring for a face-off.
“I was there and I had the run of show. I don’t think this is a secret. Nobody told me not to say anything, but I had the run of show and we were supposed to go off air with ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone doing a face-off with Mike Perry.”
However, the night took an unexpected turn when Cyrus Fees told Sonnen that Conor McGregor was going to make an appearance. Sonnen didn’t believe him. But much to Sonnen’s surprise, McGregor arrived just as Christine Ferea was about to defend her BKFC flyweight title against Bec Rawlings.
“That is what the script said, and by the way, ‘Cowboy’ and his lovely kids and his lovely wife were all there in attendance so I believed it. I was then told Conor McGregor was going to show up. Now, Cyrus (Fees) told me this. I’ve got to bring Cyrus along. Cyrus is a mark. Cyrus tells me that, ‘I heard Conor McGregor is coming.’ I said, ‘He’s not. Just so you know, he’s not.'”
McGregor’s appearance caused a stir, and they had to scramble for chairs as there weren’t enough for him. Meanwhile, Perry overlooked Cerrone and went straight to McGregor, thinking that there would be enough time for McGregor to leave the ring and for Cowboy to get in.
“Oh my goodness, you wouldn’t believe it. Conor McGregor comes walking in. They don’t have chairs for him. Feldman decides he’s going to sit him next to him at the head table. Commission says no so they scramble some chairs and they put him in the actual audience, but not at the head table.”
“I watched this whole thing happen. Perry was supposed to call for ‘Cowboy’ like the show sheet said. He overlooked ‘Cowboy’ and then went to [McGregor]. [Perry] thought there would be enough time for Conor McGregor to get out of the ring and ‘Cowboy’ to get in the ring.”
But time ran out, and the show had to go off the air. Cowboy was understandably upset, but McGregor’s appearance added an unexpected twist to the night’s events.
Chael continued: “They didn’t have enough time. Eventually, they faded to black and threw the credits. ‘Cowboy’ was red hot. I don’t know anything about the 50 million, but McGregor did show up and as far as a night and a piece of entertainment, I felt like we got a real treat there.”
Although Cowboy’s face-off with Perry didn’t happen as planned, fans got an amazing surprise as McGregor’s arrival added a whole new level of excitement to the night.