The outcome of Michael Page’s short-lived welterweight match-up with Goiti Yamauchi at Bellator 292 on Friday was horrifying to watch.
One kick from “Venom” Page, and Yamauchi went down as if struck by a viper. The sting in this case, however, appeared to come from his kneecap being re-arranged. A painful sight, and a quick night for MVP — who leads the pack when it comes to Bellator knockouts.
In the aftermath of the fight, even Page wasn’t sure what had transpired. “I still don’t quite know exactly what it is to be fair. I saw him go down, and I just thought, don’t know if it was a nerve or whatever, but obviously when I saw him grasp his leg, I’m like ‘he’s not getting back up,'” Page recalled following the event at the SAP Center in San Jose.
“I didn’t see the lump until I looked up at the screen — I’m in my celebrating element, and then I actually looked up to see what it was, and it kind of took that kind of energy out of me.”
Hurting Yamauchi in that fashion is not something Page (21-2) wanted to see happen. It’s not the first time, either — he crushed the skull of Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos with a flying knee in 2016 — but comes with the territory in a sport like MMA.
“I come here to win fights, 100%, 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,” noted Page. “Whereas if I knocked him out, or whatever, 90 day ban, blah blah blah, which he’s not going to get a fight in between that anyway, and he’ll be back, making money again, ready to fight again.”
“I just hate that for him,” Page finished.
— Cageside Press (@Cagesidepress) March 11, 2023
The Brit now believes he’s ready jump back in the hunt for the title. And while Jason Jackson may be next, Page could very well come right after that.
“I feel like I’m already in that race, with a win like that as well. There’s 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 anyway.”
“It’s just dependant on how long I’m going to have to wait,” added Page, noting that he hadn’t taken any damage in the fight. “I don’t want to have to wait months on end before I’m back again. Because I enjoyed being back in there, the crowd, just that energy. As soon as possible. If it’s not the title, then whoever is ready.”
Watch the full Bellator 292 post-fight press conference with Michael Page above.