After taking a side quest into the realm of bare-knuckle boxing last summer, Michael Page returns to the Bellator MMA cage at Bellator 292 this Friday.
Welterweight Page (20-2) will look to bounce back from a loss to Logan Storley when he takes on Brazil’s Goiti Yamauchi at the SAP Center in San Jose, CA.
Given Yamauchi has fought at featherweight and lightweight over the years, much will be made of the size advantage held by “Venom” Page. But as he pointed out, Yamauchi has the sort of skill that can negate Page’s own natural gifts.
“Outside of the obvious advantages of size and reach, combat doesn’t work like that. I actually feel wrestlers and jiu-jitsu guys, I think more so wrestlers, are the only guys that can be undersized and be fine to compete in a division above themselves,” Page stated during the Bellator 292 media day this week. “Because they’ve got the great equalizer of making you the same size and putting you on your back.”
Page noted that having met Daniel Cormier, he’s actually far bigger than the former UFC heavyweight champ.
“I think wrestlers get away with being slightly smaller for the division, and I think if you are a high level jiu-jitsu guy, you can also do the same thing. And he [Yamauchi] is a high-level jiu-jitsu guy.”
Despite the athletes fighting in the same promotion for years, MVP vs. Yamauchi came a little out of left field. Especially with the potential of a trilogy fight with Douglas Lima out there. Beyond that, the only other man to defeat Page, Logan Storley, is coming off a title fight loss.
That’s a fight Page is open to. “I’m a grudge specialist, I hold grudges. He’s beat me, so I would like that back, definitely.”
If he picks up the win this Friday, however, Page believes it will be a title shot up next. He sees his bout with Yamauchi as a title eliminator.
“I think that’s what it is, it just makes the most sense that that’s what it is. I don’t see anybody else ready to be in our position. So yeah, I think the winner of this fight fights the winner of the next title fight, which is most likely going to be Jason Jackson versus [Yaroslav] Amosov.”
Watch the full Bellator 292 media day appearance by Michael “Venom” Page above.