Michael Page vs. David Rickels started out exactly as fight fans had hoped, with plenty of action. It looked like we were in for a barn burner, but no one anticipated what happened next.
It was a caveman vs. a viper in the Bellator 200 co-main event on Friday at the SSE Arena in London, England. There, David ‘Caveman’ Rickels took on Britain’s own Michael ‘Venom’ Page. It was a battle between a gritty, aggressive striker with relentless pressure in Caveman versus a flashy, frankly mesmerizing, showboating young phenom.
Right from the get-go, with Caveman jawing at MVP over the referee’s instructions, you knew this would be a fun fight. Both men were showing fluid movement early, with Rickels moving laterally, and Page using his usual hands down, karate-based style. Page would land first, finding a home for the jab. Another followed. A right uppercut came next from Page. Rickels launched a knee as his opponent was on the move, but it didn’t hit clean. A combo then landed from Page; Rickels threw a kick at his opponent’s lead leg. A second one sailed wide, and was answered by a spinning heel kick from Michael Page. Page’s showboating didn’t impress Rickels much in round one, but a left hand dropped him, and most definitely got his attention! Page chose to sit and wait, not pouncing on a clearly wounded Caveman. Rickels seemed to have his balance back, throwing a spinning back fist that missed. Page hit home with a 1-2 combo, and that took them to the bell, while still sparring verbally.
Page’s length allowed him to control the distance early in round two; and suddenly, Page connected again, with a right hand, right above the eye of Caveman, opening up a nasty cut. That was all she wrote. Rickels signaled that he couldn’t continue due to the cut, pointing to his eye repeatedly.
Page dedicated the fight to his cousin, who lost her life in the Parkland school shooting. He also wore the glove of Thanos from the latest Avengers film, saying “just let me click my fingers. I’m taking over everybody. Everybody.”
Michael Page def. David Rickels by TKO (verbal submission to strikes), Round 2, 0:43