UFC: Shavkat Rakhmonov Welcomes Match-Up with Free Agent Michael “Venom” Page

Michael Page, Bellator MMA
Michael Page vs. Ross Houston Credit: Bellator MMA

Michael “Venom” Page is on the market, exploring free agency in seek of who will pay the most to retain his services.

“MVP” has compiled a 21-2 record in MMA, after crossing over from kickboxing where he was a multiple-time world champion. Starting his pro MMA career in 2014, Page joined Bellator MMA in 2014, and ran up an unbeaten 14-0 record before meeting Douglas Lima in the semifinal round of Bellator’s welterweight grand prix in 2019.

A KO loss to Lima was the first of Page’s career, but he bounced back, winning a rematch and eventually challenging Logan Storley for interim gold last year — with the fight ending in a split decision loss for Page. He returned to action this past March, earning a leg kick TKO against Goiti Yamauchi.

Page then entered free agency, and stated recently that he could see himself fighting inside the UFC octagon.

In order to get there, however, Page wants a top 5 opponent, he told MMA Mania. “I want Top 5, Top 10 max. I don’t feel like I need to prove myself all over again,” Page told the website. “I just want to go in there … and we’ve seen it with Michael Chandler. He went in there, fought a top 10 Dan Hooker, great first win for him that just sprung him into title contention. That is the route I see myself in. I don’t see it in any other way. I don’t need a warm-up fight, and it’s not like I’ve been out of the game for ages. I’m ready to go now.”

While he’s not top 5 — just shy, in fact — UFC welterweight Shavkat Rakhmonov has now responded. The Kazakh fighter is currently ranked #6 in the welterweight division according to the UFC’s official rankings, and was to have fought at Noche UFC on September 16. However, opponent Kelvin Gastelum pulled out of that fight, leaving Rakhmonov’s status up in the air.

“How about #6?” wrote Rakhmonov (or whoever runs his Twitter account) on Wednesday. Like Page, Shavkat Rakhmonov has started his MMA career undefeated, and currently stands at 17-0. He’s coming off a submission win against Geoff Neal in March.