Michael “Venom” Page was born to fight.
The 28 year old Brit began training at the age of three, and hasn’t stopped since. From Martial arts to kickboxing, and now MMA, Page has won countless medals and is proving that he is a top athlete in one of the world’s fastest growing sports. Page, who now fights in the Bellator organization, has been climbing the rankings and is currently ranked 5th in the Middleweight division.
As Michael continues to gain popularity, people are going to either love or hate his fighting style. He dances, nonchalantly drops his hands, looks away from his opponents, and showboats around the cage. That being said, it’s hard to fault him for it. Michael backs up his confidence and overall cockiness with great angles, crisp footwork, and delivers punches and kicks with lethal power (starting to sound like a certain other pound-for-pound best Middleweight, isn’t he?). Most importantly, Michael Page wins. Venom currently boasts an unblemished 7-0 record as a professional, including his perfect 3-0 record inside the Bellator cage. Page is looking to make a statement in his upcoming bout against Rudy Bears, July 17th at Bellator 140.
Michael took some time out of his training schedule to answer a few questions and talk about the state of Bellator, the evolution of European fighters, and his hopes of becoming a champion.
Chris Fetter: First and foremost, how are you today?
Michael Page: I’m well thank you, feeling great.
Before we get started I have to ask, who gave you the nickname “Venom”, and why?
My good friend/brother/longest training partner Marvin Francis gave me my nickname Venom. As he said, for someone that is so small the effect of my strike was “venomous”.
You train at a gym in London, England called “London Shootfighters” which is home to some very talented fighters who are well respected in the world of MMA. Do you bring any of these guys to your camp? Also, who do you think will be the next Shootfighter to blow up?
One of the fighters at London Shootfighter that helps me massively in my training camp is John Hathaway UFC Welterweight and the next fighter to blow up from the camp will be between the following three people, who are massively talented:
Kamz aka “Frenchy”
I’ve heard you are a total workhorse in the gym and I love your high motor. How you prepare for a fight?
Fitness is key to my training as it takes a lot of hard work to be consistently fit. I am always working on ways to improve my all-round game, therefore I LIVE IN THE GYM.
You will be fighting Rudy Bears at Bellator 140. Bears is a seasoned veteran who’s had triple the amount of your total fights, and is not a guy you want to take lightly by any means. Have you trained differently for Bears than you have trained for your past opponents? Or should we expect to see “Bad News” KO’ed in first round come fight night?
I never take any opponent lightly or become complacent in any way. I am training for more than BEARS, I training to become the World Champion and training this way will prepare me for anyone I fight.
Bellator 140 truly is a stacked welterweight card and has the potential to shape the entire division. With a win on the 17th you’re 4-0 in Bellator (8-0 overall). Do you think a title shot is in the near future?
A title shot is definitely in my future. It will all be dependent on my next few fights and Bellator/Scott Coker.
Let’s go back to Bellator 128.. This was the first time you didn’t finish a fight and it had to be decided by the the score cards. Not only that, it was also the first time we’ve really seen you have to defend the takedown and use your wrestling skills. European fighters have a bad reputation for a weak ground game. What makes separates you from this stigma? What makes you better?
The reason that fight went the distance is because I made a few mistakes within that fight and I didn’t stick to my game plan, which would never happen again. The reason I am different from other European fighters is because I AM THE ONE, THE ONLY MVP.
Fans have called you the “English Anderson Silva” and you seem to be becoming a fan favorite among Bellator viewers. Does the spotlight ever weigh on you? If so, how do you deal with the pressure?
I thrive under the spotlight, it doesn’t phase me and I use it to motivate my performance. My energy is the attention. I deal the pressure by not seeing it as pressure.
The Euro movement is in full effect in the States. How important is it to you that European fighters are now getting the recognition they deserve?
It is very important to see the Euro fighters become respected and recognised as top Athletes within MMA.
Continuing on with that question, just how big has Mixed Martial Arts grown in England in the past few years?
The attention MMA has established across the globe has increased massively over the passed few years and England has latched on to it also.
Following Bellator 127, four fighters failed their pre-fight drug screens. What are your thoughts about PED’s and the fighters that use them?
I think that it up to the fighters that use it. If they want to use, that’s their issue. I personally don’t agree with it.
Should MMA become more regulated?
Yes, I feel MMA should become more regulated.
It’s been almost a year since Bellator restructured. Now that the Rebney era is over, how is your relationship with Bellator’s current President, Scott Coker and are you happy with the direction and changes Coker has made?
I have a good relationship with Scott Coke. Everything that he is doing will make MMA/Bellator a more interesting sport/show for the casual viewer.
Were you a fan of tournament style fighting of the past?
I think that the tournaments are a good idea but I think that the tournament needs to conclude within one show and not over a number of shows.
Final questions before the speed round. Let’s say I’m Scott Coker in this scenario. Who do you want to fight next and why? Do you feel you can strike with the elite fighters within the division? Make your case.
I will fight ANYONE the show puts in front of me. I feel that I am one of the elite strikers in the division, so of course I could strike with them.
Favorite post fight meal?
Best part of living in London?
If you could fight anyone, seriously anyone, who would it be and why?
Myself. Just to see if I could beat me.
Favorite marital artist?
Do you practice the infamous “Tornado Kick”?
Yes! Perfect practice makes perfect.
Hands Down Best Around
Playstation or Xbox?
Rock or Rap?
Comedy or Action movie?
Coffee or Redbull?
Submission or KO?
To be the greatest or most famous?
To be the greatest.
Arsenal or Chelsea?