Michael Page will be back inside the Bellator MMA cage after a one-fight detour into the boxing ring in 2017, as he meets David Rickels in the Bellator 200 co-main event on Friday at the SSE Arena in London. Page has compiled a perfect 12-0 record with 10 finishes, while Rickels enters their match on the heels of back-to-back victories against Adam Piccolotti and Aaron Derrow.
Ahead of Page’s three-round showdown with Rickels, here are five things you might not know about him:
1. He is quite the performer.
Page’s style is a good mix of karate, kickboxing and many other disciplines, including salsa. The welterweight loves to dance and believes it has made him more open-minded in martial arts. It should come as little surprise considering the movements involved.
2. He is a lifelong professional wrestling fan.
Like many who grew up in the 1990s, Page became a fan of World Wrestling Entertainment and World Championship Wrestling. He counts The Rock, Goldberg, The Undertaker and Stone Cold Steve Austin among his favorite pro wrestlers. Page has drawn comparisons to many of them due to his charisma and in-cage antics.
3. He has a favorite on-screen martial artist.
Page was raised on Jackie Chan movies. When it comes to fight choreography, he does not believe anyone does it better than the Hong Kong action star. Page admires Chan for his creativity and for how he plans out his scenes, which manage to straddle the line between entertaining and realistic. He also enjoys Chan’s sense of humor. In addition to Chan, Page admires Bruce Lee and Sammo Hung.
4. Comics have his heart.
He may not have gotten his “Venom” nickname from the Marvel super villain, but Page does love the famed comic book. His favorite characters in the Marvel universe are Cloak, Deadpool and The Hulk. Page was given his nickname by fellow kickboxer Marvin Francis, who did so as a tribute to the 1978 movie “Five Deadly Venoms.”
5. His athleticism stretches beyond combat sports.
Page was already competing internationally as a kickboxer when the British taekwondo team scouted him to train for an Olympic run. He turned down the opportunity to focus on his professional career. When Page was younger, he played for Epsom Eagles FC and drew interest from Fulham FC and Queens Park Rangers FC. In college, Page was offered a scholarship to play basketball in the United States. He also played tennis in his youth and was trained by his father in slalom skiing in the hope that he would someday qualify for the Olympics.