Michael Page has been on a tear ever since he debuted in Ultimate Challenge MMA in 2012. “Venom” has won all 12 of his fights, nine of them by knockout, technical knockout or submission in the first round. Only Nah-Shon Burrell and Fernando Gonzales forced Page to go the distance, while the Bellator MMA welterweight’s clash with Evangelista Santos ended in the second round, with MVP scoring the knockout by skull-crushing knee strike.
Page will pit his perfect 12-0 record against David Rickels when he returns home to London at Bellator 200 on May 25. The event will feature a middleweight title clash pairing champion Rafael Carvalho with Gegard Mousasi, a heavyweight rematch slotting Mirko Filipovic opposite Roy Nelson and a light heavyweight battle matching Phil Davis with Linton Vassell.
This installment of The Film Room taps into Page’s unique skills and the strategies that made him one of Bellator’s biggest stars:
All She Wrote
Page has drawn criticism for his tendency to showboat, but his antics against Ramdan Mohamed at Super Fight League 15 on April 12, 2013 -- he raised his hand before the fight even began -- showed he had the gift of foresight. Both men were prepared for the match, as they exploded from their respective corners and studied one another before Page drew first blood with a right straight. Mohamed clipped the circling Brit a few times, but Page remained composed and stuffed his opponent’s takedown attempts with ease. MVP scored with a takedown of his own in the middle of Round 1 and moved to full mount. After some good old-fashioned strikes to the head, Page capitalized on a panicked Mohamed and cinched a rear-naked choke.
Announcers compared Page to Apollo Creed, as he showed the world enormous self-confidence in his pro debut at Ultimate Challenge MMA 26 on Feb. 4, 2012. He squared off with Ben Dishman, a 22-year-old Team Jedi representative who rushed towards Page from the start. “Venom” stayed busy and countered Dishman with straight punches and leg kicks. Disaster struck for Dishman in the first minute of Round 1. With Dishman attempting to rise to his feet after missing MVP’s leg, Page whirled and struck him in the head with a tornado kick. The dizzy Dishman struggled to maintain his balance, giving referee Andy Sledge no choice but to call for the stoppage.
Page was 10-0 when he faced Evangelista Santos at Bellator 158 on July 16, 2016. “Cyborg,” on the other hand, entered the cage on the heels of a technical knockout loss to Saad Awad and wanted to get himself back in the game. He could not have known what was in store for him. The first round was evenly matched, as Santos secured a takedown and dragged MVP to the center. Page responded with a leg lock attempt on the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, only to have “Cyborg” squirm free. With the crowd chanting “MVP,” Page oozed with confidence, landed stiff jabs and connected with a brutal liver kick that hurt the Brazilian. The recovering Santos dashed forward with a left hook, but Page’s quick calculations drew a nasty flying knee to the center of his counterpart’s forehead and ended the fight in an instant. The knee itself was worthy of praise, but something else caught the attention of the masses and it was not Page’s post-fight Pokemon shenanigans. The impact was so forceful that it left a visible dent in Santos’ forehead. Subsequent tests confirmed he had suffered a fractured skull. “Cyborg” has not fought since.