Michael Page: Seeing Goiti Yamauchi’s Injury ‘Took the Energy Out of Me'

Michael Page made a strong impression at the expense of Goiti Yamauchi at Bellator 292 on Friday night.

The British striker landed one devastating leg kick that connected directly with his opponent’s knee, ending the welterweight contest just 26 seconds into Round 1. The injury could have long-term ramifications for Yamauchi.

“Based on the x-ray, it’s a patella tendon rupture,” Bellator president Scott Coker said at the Bellator 292 post-fight press conference. “So that sounds very painful.”

It’s the second time that a Page opponent has suffered a serious injury under the Bellator banner: In July 2016, the London Shootfighters star landed a flying knee on Evangelista Santos that cracked the Brazilian’s skull in their Bellator 158 bout. That ultimately led to Santos announcing his retirement.

In the more recent instance, seeing Yamauchi seriously injured muted Page’s celebration.

“I saw him go down and I just thought, I don’t know – nerve [damage], whatever. But when I saw him grasp his leg, I was like, ‘He’s not getting back up.’ I didn’t see the lump until I looked up at the screen,” Page said at the post-fight press conference. “I’m in my celebrating element, and then I actually looked up to see what it was, and it kind of took the energy out of me.

“I come here to win fights – 100 percent. But I don’t like taking money out of people’s pockets. And what I mean is, yes, he’s going to get paid for this fight. But because of the damage, he’s going to be out a lot longer … So I just hate that for him.”

Page has won seven of his last eight Bellator appearances, with his lone defeat coming via split decision to Logan Storley in an interim title bout at Bellator 281. The impressive nature of his latest triumph conceivably puts him right back in the title picture, especially after Yaroslav Amosov bested Storley at Bellator 291. However, Page will have to wait in line of it’s a title shot he desires.

“I know we have [Jason] Jackson in the wings, right? So we have to be respectful to that. He’s been waiting a long time,” Coker said. “But I’m excited to get ‘MVP’ back and get busy. I mean, this guy is so talented, he’s so fast, and if you were going to tell me that he was going to do a leg kick and take someone out with a leg kick, I don’t know if I would’ve believed it. But that’s how versatile he is. So good for him and I’ve always enjoyed watching that guy fight, because he can do it all, so we’ll have him back in the cage soon.

“I think he’s ranked No. 1 or No. 2 now, so he’s going to have to kind of hold tight until Jackson gets his shot, and then he’ll get a shot after that.”

If it’s up to Page, he’d prefer to stay active over playing the waiting game.

“I feel like I’m already in that race with a win like that. There are not many others in the division. I think a few people have lost just below me in the rankings, so I’m looking at the top,” Page said. “It’s just dependent on how long I’m going to have to wait. I haven’t taken too much damage at all, so I don’t want to have to wait months on end before I’m back again.

“I enjoyed being back in there – the crowd, just that energy. So [I want to fight again] as soon as possible. If it’s not the title, then just whoever’s [ready]. … It’s just progression. That’s all it is – whoever’s next in line. I need to fight to keep progressing and going forward. That’s what I’m going to do.”
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