Bellator 221’s Michael Page understands why people might see him as having an easy path in Bellator to this point, but they’re not looking at his full martial arts journey, which started much earlier.
Chicago, IL — Michael Page returns to the cage at Bellator 221, taking the next step in the Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix. He’s got his toughest foe yet Saturday night in Chicago, as Douglas Lima, a former Bellator welterweight champ, is the man he is tasked with defeating in order to move on in the tournament.
Michael Venom Page, however, is no slouch. And he’s no doubt been working on his takedown defense. After all, strikers become wrestlers when faced with MVP’s own deadly striking. Look no further than his quarterfinal opponent Paul Daley.
So Page (14-0) is in Chicago on a mission — though he’s thankful the weather is a bit nicer than the last time he was in town. “I came before in December when it was like ridiculously cold, so I appreciate the weather now,” he said, adding “I’ve done all the sights and stuff.”
During Thursday’s Bellator press conference, it was implied at one point that MVP might have had an easier go of things than his opponent Lima. Asked about that, Page told Cageside Press that “Lima had a tough road in MMA, but what people don’t understand is, my run didn’t start in front of everybody.”
Considering his long career in combat sports, including kickboxing, “I’d been fighting for years before I fought for Bellator.”
It’s a journey Page considers as starting when he was five years old. “It’s just a different journey. A lot of times, if people don’t see the journey, they don’t appreciate it.”
Perhaps they’ll enjoy Page’s journey through the welterweight grand prix more. Should he make it page Lima, Page will have earned a spot in the final, and secure himself a title shot in the process.
Before that, he’s expecting Lima to “hundred percent” try to take him down. “I think everybody comes in with their best foot forward,” Page said, but he expects that will soon fall apart. “He’s going to come in striking, but when it’s not working, you’re getting a little more frustrated, you throw your kicks, you throw your punches, you’re not landing, you’re getting hit.” That’s when Lima, out of options, will look for the takedown, in Page’s estimation.
“I always say, I turn the best kickboxers into grapplers,” he finished.