Michael 'Venom' Page after boxing debut win: Who's Paul Daley?

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Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

Bellator welterweight and newly minted professional boxer Michael Page is over Paul Daley like a bad breakup.

Asked about Daley (40-15-2 MMA, 6-2 BMMA) following a third-round knockout of Jonathan Castano in his professional boxing debut at light heavyweight, “Venom” Page (12-0 MMA, 8-0 BMMA) put on a very obvious act trying to pretend he didn’t know his rival.

“I don’t know who that is,” the undefeated Bellator MMA fighter told MMAjunkie backstage at the event, promoted by former boxing champ David Haye. “I’ve never heard of his name. I don’t even know who you’re talking about right now. Probably some random garbage fighter that has a big mouth.”

Apparently, Page is no longer interested in ending the bad blood. The two have all but completed a promotional reel for an eventual fight, nearly coming to blows outside the cage in May after Daley was submitted by Rory MacDonald at Bellator 179. Prior to rebounding with an upset over Lorenz Larkin, Daley scoffed at Page’s ambitions in the squared circle and said he would stay in the cage long enough to have the last word.

“The whole boxing thing is just propaganda,” Daley said. “The guy is just trying to buy his time. It’s a smart move. He just wants the big fight, which is me for the U.K. market and the world market. This boxing thing is just him treading water rather than take the risk of go in against other top contenders, strong wrestlers or strong ground guys. He’s just waiting for the big fight against another stand-up guy.”

Page counters that he’s tried to make the fight happen.

Today on “The MMA Hour,” he said Daley is the one who’s dodged a meeting on multiple occasions. Now, the only way he’ll accept is if Daley agrees to a winner-take-all fight, which likely means Bellator won’t book it.

So Page doesn’t want to hear anymore about Daley. He’s instead focused on a return to the cage, which he said could take place Dec. 15 at Bellator 191 in Newcastle.

“I’m completely fine, no injuries,” Daley said after his boxing win. “I’m not going to make any decisions on the fight, because I don’t anyway. If Bellator is excited for me to be in Newcastle, they’re going to be speaking to the right people on my team.

“They probably have spoken already, and when I get in the gym, we sit down and talk next best move. I’m an employee, and I do what I’m told. This is where they want me; I go there and do that. They gave me the opportunity to do this, and I’m massively thankful. I should go and pay them back, knock someone out in MMA.”

Page also aims to get another boxing match in by year’s end and eventually move to the super middleweight division, where the 168-pound limit is better suited to his MMA frame. He said it’s going to take time to see him in a 12-round fight, a la UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor’s lucrative crossover with Floyd Mayweather. But eventually he’d be ready.

In the meantime, the flashy style that’s made him an MMA star won’t be changing at all. Although the rules and conditioning might be different, Page said his way of fighting makes him a threat in any combat sport.

“I’m a combat specialist,” Page said. “I think my style suits multiple (styles of) combat. If you ask me to go to the Olympics and do some taekwondo, I’ll tell you what, I can do it.”

But if it’s against Daley, the answer is appparently no – for now.

For more on the upcoming MMA schedule, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Video: Bellator's Michael 'Venom' Page wins pro boxing debut by TKO

Michael Page’s foray into the boxing world is off to a solid start.

Page, who is best known as a standout in Bellator’s welterweight division, is beginning to moonlight in the boxing ring. His debut fight went according to plan. Page (1-0 boxing) scored a third-round TKO of Jonathan Castano (2-12-1) at Fight Night on Dave at Indigo at The O2 in London.

After doing his traditional unorthodox foot and hand movement, Page began to tag Castano more and more as the fight wore on. “Venom” landed a right hand that dropped his opponent in the third frame, and the contest was waved off from there (via Twitter).

MMAjunkie contributor Chamatkar Sandhu was on-site at the event, and caught this image of Page celebrating after his victory (via Twitter):

Despite the win, Page’s (12-0 MMA, 8-0 BMMA) next fight is expected to take place in MMA. According to Bellator President Scott Coker, “MVP” is expected to be added to the Bellator 191 lineup on Dec. 15 in Newcastle, England. His participation was dependent upon his health, but with Page appearing to come out unscathed, it seems as though he’ll fight once more before the end of the year (via Twitter):

For more on Bellator 191, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 183 winner Paul Daley made peace with Lorenz Larkin following KO

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SAN JOSE, Calif. – Paul Daley on Saturday proved he’s still one of the best welterweights in the world when he demolished Lorenz Larkin for a second-round knockout in the Bellator 183 co-main event.

After losing a lopsided fight to Rory MacDonald earlier this year, Daley (40-15-2 MMA, 6-2 BMMA) bounced back with a stellar performance against former Bellator title challenger Larkin (18-8 MMA, 0-2 BMMA), finishing the fight with yet another highlight knockout for his lengthy sizzle-reel.

Daley’s victory, which co-headlined the Spike-televised card at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., following prelims streamed on MMAjunkie, was easily the most significant of his Bellator career, but it certainly wasn’t surprising to him.

“People, they just underestimate the power so much,” Daley told MMAjunkie after his win. “I don’t understand why. I’ve got 40 wins and 35 knockouts. Why would you want to stand and trade with me? It’s ridiculous. But I got the win. I’m happy, and I’m looking on to the future now, getting into title contention, big names, big fights and more money.

“Every time I get a knockout I feel fantastic. Winning definitely beats losing. The last time I lost against Rory MacDonald, so, it’s fantastic. Lorenz, he was just in my changing room, he’s genuinely a nice guy. He said I got under his skin a bit, and he just wasn’t used to the whole trash-talking thing. He’s a top name. He’s beaten former UFC champions. He’s beaten some top guys. For me, it’s a massive, massive win.”

Daley’s patented left hook was certainly the most significant contributor to his win, but apparently the mental warfare prior to the contest was meaningful, as well. The Brit talked a big game ahead of Bellator 183, as he normally does before his fights, and Larkin was admittedly irked by it.

That tension spilled over to the ceremonial weigh-ins a day prior to the event, when Larkin decided to push Daley and engage in a scuffle during the staredown. Daley said the weigh-in antics somewhat got to him, but apparently not as much as Larkin, who “Semtex” had a peace-making moment with backstage after the fight.

“He came back to the changing rooms, and we spoke a little bit,” Daley revealed. “He’s a cool guy. I don’t know why everyone gets so wound up. They know what (expletive) I’m going to do; I do it every time. I talk a bit of (expletive). I wind them up at the press conference or whatever. He just bit.”

Daley’s win kept his position as one of the top 170-pound contenders in Bellator. At 34, he has said he only has a few years of fighting left, and he wants to use that time participating in the biggest fights possible.

A matchup that’s been brewing with great fan interest is against his countryman Michael Page (12-0 MMA, 8-0 BMMA). There appears to be a genuine disdain between the two competitors, and Daley said it’s just a matter of time until they share the cage, even if he doesn’t see “MVP” as being on his level.

“‘MVP’s’ been talking, but with this win, I think I’ve leapt over that kind of fight,” Daley said. “But I’m open to the fight, because it’s a big fight. I’m just looking for the money and waiting for the title shot. Standup fighters like ‘MVP,’ they can’t beat me. They don’t understand I just have to touch them once, and then it’s lights out. So, it’s whatever. Whatever happens.”

For complete coverage of Bellator 183, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Paul Daley 'feeling old,' but won't go anywhere before ending Michael Page's hype train

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Filed under: Bellator, News

There has been a lot of back-and-forth with regard to a matchup between British welterweight knockout specialists Paul Daley and Michael Page. Daley is tired of treading water when it comes to the fight, though, and hopes Bellator can make it happen sooner than later.

Daley (39-15-2 MMA, 5-2 BMMA) said he’s aware of the significance of a matchup between Page (12-0 MMA, 8-0 BMMA) and himself, and although he’s not totally thinking about retirement just yet, the 34-year-old knows his best competitive days are coming to a close. With that in mind, he wants to get all the big fights in before it’s too late.

“I’m ready to fight the guy,” Daley told MMAjunkie. “I’m feeling old; I just want to get all the big fights I can. I’ve always been good to my fans. I’ve never backed down or away from a fight. If the fans want to see the fight, I tend to make the fight happen. That’s no different with the ‘MVP’ fight.”

Daley is currently booked for a co-main event encounter with Lorenz Larkin (18-6 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) at Bellator 183, which takes place Sept. 23 at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., with the main card on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

“Semtex” said he fully expects to have his way with Larkin, and once that’s done, he will turn the entirety of his focus to Page. While he does that, Page is targeted to make his professional boxing debut in October. Daley believes the only reason “Venom” is competing outside of MMA next is to ensure he doesn’t suffer a loss that could dampen the significance of their fight.

“The whole boxing thing is just propaganda,” Daley said. “The guy is just trying to buy his time. It’s a smart move. He just wants the big fight, which is me for the U.K. market and the world market. This boxing thing is just him treading water rather than take the risk of go in against other top contenders, strong wrestlers or strong ground guys. He’s just waiting for the big fight against another stand-up guy.

“We don’t get to see Mike tested against your wrestlers and guys with a strong ground game. He knows that with me, another stand-up guy who will stand and bang, his chances are better than to take on someone of an elite grappling level and get exposed. Smart move, but for me, I don’t play that game. I’ve always taken risky fights.”

Tension between Daley and Page has existed for quite some time. It reached it’s peak following Bellator 179 in May, though, when after suffering a second-round submission loss to Rory MacDonald in the main event, Daley had a post-fight encounter with Page.

Daley said the ill will with Page is authentic and not manufactured. In his mind, it’s not a matter of if, but when, he finally has the chance to share the cage with his rival. And when that time comes, he said he’s going to make an example out of the younger, less experienced fighter.

“I’m happy to end the hype train,” Daley said. “For me, when he does fight me, he’s just going to get his head completely blown off. He better keep running because the outcome will be the same whether we fight tomorrow or if we fight in a few months time. He’s going to get knocked the (expletive) out, so it doesn’t matter.”

For more on Bellator 183, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator's Scott Coker: Michael Page vs. Paul Daley grudge match planned for early 2018

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Filed under: Bellator, News

Despite Michael Page’s claim that he’s moved past the idea of fighting Paul Daley, Bellator officials still apparently want the grudge match to happen, according to company president Scott Coker.

Page (12-0 MMA, 8-0 BMMA) and Daley (39-15-2 MMA, 5-2 BMMA) have traded barbs in recent months, and it all came to a head following May’s Bellator 179 main event. “Semtex” suffered a second-round submission loss to Rory MacDonald, and in his post-fight interview, he called out Page before charging him while cageside.

The fight essentially booked itself at that point. However, in a twist, “MVP” recently took to social media and claimed he was offered the fight as the headliner of a September Bellator event in London but said Daley declined (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

Page wrote that he’s over the situation and that Daley missed his chance. However, Coker said the plan is still to book the British welterweights, though the originally proposed timeframe didn’t pan out.

“Paul didn’t say he would not fight ‘MVP’; what he said is that he would not fight him in September,” Coker told MMAjunkie. “It’s a fight that will happen, I want to say in the first quarter of next year in London.”

Coker said he had no issue with Daley passing on the September date. It would have marked a four-month turnaround from his loss to MacDonald and his third fight overall in less than nine months.

Additionally, Daley has had 46 fights during his nearly 14-year pro career and planned to sit out the rest of 2017 to reenergize. Coker said that’s not a problem.

“He said, ‘I’m just coming off a fight, I’ve been through a lot of training camps with injuries, and I want to rest. I’m not going to fight in September against ‘MVP,’ but I will fight him,’” Coker said. “Paul Daley is not going to duck anybody. He’s going to fight everybody. We will put that back together at some point in 2018.”

For more on Bellator’s upcoming schedule, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie