LONDON – As Michael Page prepares to take on Douglas Lima for the second time in his career, it would be easy to wonder how the English welterweight’s first MMA defeat will have affected him ahead of the upcoming rematch.
Lima (32-9 MMA, 14-5 BMMA) knocked out Page (19-1 MMA, 15-1 BMMA) at Bellator 221 in May 2019 to hand “MVP” his only career defeat in MMA. But, as Page explained to reporters, including MMA Junkie, at media day ahead of their second clash at Bellator 267, the taste of defeat is nothing new to him.
“I’ve been competing since I was five years old. Although I’m not used to losing in this particular arena, I have had my arse kicked many a time, I tell you that now,” Page explained with a smile as he recalled his early career in freestyle kickboxing.
“We had competitions every weekend,” he recalled. “Every single weekend we were somewhere. Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Manchester, Birmingham, somewhere competing. And I was going on a bus, three hours in that direction, four hours in that direction, to get my arse handed to me to come back on the same bus where everyone’s got their medals swinging and they’re talking about all the people they had beat up. I had to do that every weekend.
“Eventually, I started beating all the people that used to beat me, and they never beat me again. So, I’ve lost a lot. This is not a new feeling for me. I’m definitely used to losing. I’m definitely used to coming back. So for me personally, it doesn’t change anything.
“There’s no reason to go through this dark phase. I know what I can do. I genuinely believe in my abilities and I genuinely believe in what’s going to take place on Friday. It’s going to be bad, and it’s not for me, it’s for the other side.”
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Much of the pre-fight talk has discussed the dynamic of the rematch, with fans debating whether Lima will repeat his knockout victory, or whether Page will make the necessary adjustments to claim the win.
Page said he isn’t expecting Lima to show him anything new on Friday night and said the three-time former Bellator welterweight champion only fights at one pace, in “gear two.” But, if the Brazilian does decide to raise the tempo or the aggression level in the rematch, Page said he’ll be ready to counter in an explosive fashion.
“I don’t think he even has a fast pace,” he offered. “I think he’s only ever in gear two his whole career.
“It’s a positive thing and it’s a negative thing. (The) positive is when you come up against a frustrating opponent like me, when I normally drag people out of their shell, he’s just like, ‘Nope! I’m just gonna chill in gear two,’ and continue going at that set pace. Whereas when he’s losing a fight and he needs to leave that kind of space and leave gear two to push the fight a little bit more, he’s like, ‘Nope! I’m going to continue at that pace.’
“Obviously, you’ve seen that in the last two fights that I’ve watched, where you feel he could have done a little bit more – he probably could have won the (Amosov) fight – but just sat in gear two. So, (there’s) positives and negatives to that.
“For me, it’s simply a case of doing what I do best. I know the timing that I want. I know the distance that I want, and (I’ll be) just putting it on him and getting rid of him as soon as possible.
“If he decides to do something abnormal and does decide, based on what he’s been saying, and starts pushing forward, he’s going to run into something horrible – absolutely horrible – which is just going to make the fight finish 10 times quicker. So I’ll pick him up and we can go to the afterparty!”
Bellator 267 takes place Friday, October 1 at the SSE Arena, Wembley, London. The card streams live on Showtime following prelims on MMA Junkie.
Photos: Best of Michael ‘Venom’ Page
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Douglas Lima def. Michael Page at Bellator 221: Best photos
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