Earlier this week I had the pleasure of interviewing Michael “Venom” Page, a 27-year old English mixed martial arts fighter who is one of the main attractions on Friday night’s Bellator 128 card in Oklahoma.
Just six fights into his professional fighting career this former freestyle kick-boxing World Champion is being predicted to go on to become a world star in the sport. He himself believes he can transcend the current popularity restrictions of MMA.
He’s finished all six fights in the first round, four KOs and two submission wins, using his relaxed and confident Anderson Silva like striking style to make experienced opponents look like they’d never so much as sparred before.
Fighting out of London Shoot Fighters Gym in the East End Page steps into the cage to take on his biggest test to date, former UFC and Strikeforce fighter Nah-Shon Burrell, at Bellator 128. Despite the difference in MMA experience Page is a massive 2/7 favourite to take out Burrell. The fight to last less than 1.5 rounds is priced up at 8/11 so the expectation from the Paddy Power number crunchers is that he’s going to rack up another first round stoppage.
Here’s what the man himself had to say earlier this week ahead of his biggest fight to date.
His fighting style:
At the moment my style gives me an advantage because it’s quite new and you’re not going to find many training partners who can mimic it. At the moment I feel I have a bit of an advantage stand up wise.
About fighting Burrell
I feel the same as I always do. I’m confident, I know he’s going to be tough but it’s the same feeling I had for my last couple of fights in America.
I’m preparing for a really tough long fight. Even though they did finish in the first round, I was expecting to go the three rounds in my last few fights.
It’s the same here, Burrell is more experienced, he’s been in big shows before so in my head it’s going to be a longer fight. The game plan is, as I have been doing, to pick him off until I find a shot to finish him or if it goes the distance then win on points and be sensible with my game.
This is exactly what I said about the fight with Ricky Rainey, I expected him to come out hard and fast, which he did, he was really trying to pressure me.
I expected a whole round of that against Rainey, of having to tame him and that’s what I’m expecting against Burrell.
That being said I believe I’ll finish him in the second round.
I would like to go experience a three round fight just for my own sake so I can prove that I can do it. In my head I know I can but there’s one thing saying it and another thing actually doing it.
But at the same time if my next twenty fights finish in the first round I’m not going to complain.
What’s on the next Page of his career
I leave those decisions to my coaches. I don’t even look at who it is, if they’re saying that it’s okay for me to fight someone then that’s it, I’ll sign the deal. I trust them completely.
Page looked like a seasoned pro in his very first MMA bout. For the 60 seconds it lasted anyway.
Ultimately I always say it’s not about titles, I want to become the face of MMA. I want to be what David Beckham is to football, Michael Jordan is to basketball, I want to be on that level and obviously winning titles is included as part of it. But that’s my ultimate goal. To be MMA’s biggest star.
I feel that my style attracts more than just the MMA fans, it attracts people who have no interest in MMA. People have told me that they’ve shown their aunty, their gran one of my fights, people who’ve never seen a fight before in their lives and they’ve enjoyed it as well. I know I can attract a wider audience for the sport.
You can follow/contact Michael on Twitter: @MichaelPage247