Michael ‘Venom’ Page is the MVP of Bellator MMA.
He is a kickboxer, karateka, boxer, and mixed martial artist with a habit of winning in the Bellator cage thanks to his unique fighting skills.
His mother and father were both mixed martial artists so it was a natural transition when Page began combat sports at the age of three. By the age of five he was competing in kickboxing tournaments and by 12 he was winning world titles.
MVP made his pro MMA debut in 2012 and has not looked back since as he aspires to become the biggest name in the sport.
Fighting out of London Shootfighters, Page said he “fell in love” with the discipline after studying its different arts.
“There is no such thing as mastering martial arts,” the 32-year-old London-born fighter told Sky Sports’ Raz Mirza. “There is so much to learn because it’s constantly changing and improving, so for me it’s all about being a good student, keeping that mindset, and wanting to grow.
“When I got into this sport, it was known as one of the fastest-growing sports in the world, so I knew the UK was eventually going to catch on. There is so much more room for growth, but I’m glad to be one of the bigger names that’s kind of helped draw eyes to the UK and Europe. It’s an exciting time to be part of this sport.”
He has developed his own unpredictable and unorthodox style, often fighting with his hands down. This has come from his background of freestyle kickboxing and sport karate.
“My style is similar to a taekwondo bout, or a karate bout, slightly different but a little bit more stylish. I think people just don’t understand that it’s an art that focuses more on the speed element of martial arts than it does the power and this is why I’m so confident to have my hands down,” explained MVP.
“In MMA you spend so much time reading the space between yourself and the opponent so you tend to be more relaxed and that makes it hard to read punches coming forward and it can make us seem that much faster.”
I have so much respect for Lima as a person, but he is also a very strong competitor as everyone has seen, but it’s exciting for me because it’s kind of what I wanted and I’m eager to get that rematch.
MVP on welterweight champion Douglas Lima
Page pays tribute to his four coaches, whom he calls “the scientists” because they help describe each opponent down to a tee.
“I have full belief in my coaches because they tend to describe an opponent very well, so it’s almost like I’ve watched them already, but very rarely do I pay too much attention to my opponent because sometimes you can overthink things as well,” he said.
“I call my coaches the scientists because of how specific they are with what I should be doing and what my opponent is going to do. I have full confidence in them.”
I’m glad to be one of the bigger names that’s kind of helped draw eyes to the UK and Europe. It’s an exciting time to be part of this sport.
Michael ‘Venom’ Page
MVP’s only loss to date came against Douglas Lima, who recently recaptured his welterweight championship belt from Rory MacDonald. It was a defeat Page insists he will learn from and return an even dangerous fighter as he seeks a future rematch.
“I was overeager because everything was going according to plan in that fight,” he recalled. “It felt a bit too good to be true when I landed a very clean shot which rocked him and his legs went. From then on I got a bit too excited and I could almost smell victory in that moment when I should have continued with the same game plan. But you live and you learn.
“I have so much respect for Lima as a person, but he is also a very strong competitor as everyone has seen, but it’s exciting for me because it’s kind of what I wanted and I’m eager to get that rematch and kill two birds with one stone because he’s also got that belt. I’m looking forward to getting that belt around my waist.”
Next up for Page is a contest against Giovanni Melillo (13-4) following a late withdrawal from American Derek Anderson.
He has also revealed plans to undertake private acting lessons during his next mini-break as he looks ahead to life after MMA.
“I feel like I will get opportunities to act but when I get over there I want to be taken seriously. Just like I would train when I get into the cage, I have to train to get in front of the camera,” he said.
MVP also has a strong affiliation with Sunday league side Kenningwell United FC – a team he now sponsors after they were forced with the threat of extinction.
“It’s a team that has been going for about forty or fifty years, but when one of the founders passed away it kind of broke the team up a bit and funds started running out,” said Page. “It was going to be a shame for a close friend of mine and the team, so I said I would be happy to help. I ended up sponsoring the team and I’m happy I did because they’re a good bunch of guys and we’re undefeated so far this season.
“It’s good for the community and it’s good for the lads to have something to focus on at the weekend. I’m happy to keep supporting them.”
MVP’s latest fight against Derek Anderson will be available to watch On Demand this Sunday.