Markus Perez is taking a positive approach to his release from the UFC.

The middleweight fighter said he is in no way down about his departure from the world’s premier MMA promotion earlier this month. Perez (12-5 MMA, 2-5 UFC) left the UFC on a three-fight losing streak, with his most recent defeat being a decision loss to Dalcha Lungiambula in January.

“I feel better (now out of the UFC), I really do,” Perez told MMA Junkie. “When I lost fights in the UFC, you start to feel bad and you get depression and people talk a lot of sh*t. You have depression because of the money, and now I have a son, you know, so it’s complicated, but now I feel better. I feel free. I feel free to restart my career and I feel better. I like that.”

Perez’s career didn’t pan out the way many expected. The Brazilian entered the UFC back in 2017 as a promising prospect. He was undefeated and had won the LFA middleweight title, defeating currently ranked UFC contender Ian Heinisch to win the regional title.

At 30, Perez said he still feels he has a lot to show in MMA and is determined to bounce back to his winning ways.

“I know who I am,” Perez said. “I know my potential. I know my talent. I know everything. For me, taking the UFC belt is my dream, but sometimes it’s better to take step back so you can go up four or five steps after.”

Perez said he is interested in joining big promotions in PFL or Bellator.

He likes the $1 million prize PFL has to offer but also likes the potential of fighting Dillon Danis in Bellator, as the controversial grappling specialist recently took a shot at him on Instagram for training with Jake Paul.

“I want to fight in PFL,” Perez said. “In PFL, if you win five fights, you take $1 million, and you take a belt. For me, this is the best vision for my life right now. PFL, take the belt, take the money, invest the money, stay good. I don’t need to work in construction or security at a night club and focus on fighting. And maybe, who knows, come back to the UFC and take the belt.

“But if Bellator offers, ‘Hey you want to fight Dillon Danis?’ Then OK, I’m here. It’s not about the money. It’s about shutting this guy up. He talks a lot of sh*t.”