Damacio Page says he's ready to go back to the big show. | Keith Mills/Sherdog.com
Damacio Page gets it.
He knows Henry Cejudo was an attractive option for the UFC because of his gold medal, his fluent Spanish and his unblemished record. Page just would have preferred that the Olympic wrestler have been tested in the cage before receiving his call-up to the big show.
Cejudo was supposed to face Page at Legacy Fighting Championship 31 for the promotion’s inaugural flyweight title, but Cejudo withdrew from the bout for personal reasons.
“His personal reason was that I was going to knock his ass out,” Page recently told Sherdog.com.
Since then, Cejudo withdrew from another Legacy appearance on Aug. 29. This time, the Arizonan had a more definitive reason: a newly-minted UFC contract. He will make his Octagon debut against Scott Jorgensen at UFC 177 in Sacramento, Calif., on Aug. 30.
“You know what? I’m not mad at the guy. He did it right; he knew I was a dangerous fight,” Page said. “Of course he’s gonna dodge me. Because I’m gonna hurt his value if he does get to fight me, and I knock him out. Then he’s not as marketable for the UFC.
“But still, I want to fight him. I still do.”
Cejudo is 6-0 as a professional mixed martial artist, including two decision triumphs under the Legacy FC banner. However, his first four foes had losing records and he failed to make weight for both of his appearances with the Texas-based promotion.
Page would have easily been his most accomplished foe, having faced the likes of Demetrious Johnson, Brad Pickett, Brian Bowles and Alex Caceres, to name a few. Interestingly enough, Page took a unanimous verdict over Jorgensen in his debut with the now-defunct World Extreme Cagefighting promotion.
Despite Jorgensen’s lengthy UFC and WEC tenure, the Jackson-Wink MMA representative still believes he would have been the more dangerous obstacle for Cejudo than his former foe.
“I hope Scott beats him. Don’t get me wrong, I want to crush him, but I really do hope Scott kicks his ass,” Page said. “I think it’s a good fight for Henry because Scott doesn’t hit that hard. He’s a gamer, and it’s just a good fight for Henry. Me, I’m dangerous. I can knock anybody out at any given time. If you don’t have much of a chin, I’m gonna put you out.
“It all depends on what Scott shows up and what Henry shows up.”
At any rate, Page expects Cejudo to be tested in the cage like never before later this summer. In addition to a wealth of high-level MMA experience, Jorgensen was a three-time Pac-10 champion as a wrestler at Boise State University.
“He hasn’t fought a real wrestler yet,” Page said. “He hasn’t been pushed... No one he’s fought could stop his shot. Wrestling in fighting is different than Olympic wrestling. I’ll give him his credentials -- he’s an Olympic gold medalist, that’s awesome -- but we’re not wrestling no more.”
Page, meanwhile, put his wrestling on display in his flyweight debut, a dominant submission triumph over Elias Garcia at Legacy FC 31 in June. Since four consecutive losses with Zuffa – three UFC, one WEC – prompted his release from the Las Vegas-based promotion, “The Angel of Death” has rebounded to win three of his last four fights overall.
His lone defeat during that time was a contentious split-decision loss to Brazilian Marcelo Costa in Switzerland last September. While Cejudo has struggled making the 125-pound limit of late, Page says he can make that mark consistently.
“I feel huge at that weight,” he said. “I think it’s just making the weight and just doing it right and performing. As long as I follow my diet [and] cut the weight in a timely fashion I’m good.”
The ultimate goal, of course, is a return to the Octagon. When the UFC traveled to his hometown for UFC Fight Night Albuquerque on June 7, Page said he contacted matchmaker Sean Shelby about being ready as a potential injury replacement.
“I can’t dictate what they do or how they do it or what they’re marketing plan is, but I’ll be ready,” Page said. “I think as long as I do what I gotta do, I’ll be back in. I’m too exciting not to be back there; everybody loves the way I fight. It makes no sense for me to be fighting in the small shows anymore. I think I went back to Triple A, I did what I had to do and now, bring me back.”
Still, Page acknowledges it may take at least one more victory in Legacy before he gets another opportunity with the UFC. When that moment arises, don’t think for a second that the New Mexican will have forgotten about Cejudo.
“Line up whoever they want,” Page said, “but I’ll be calling him out. I’ll be in his ear.”