Michael ‘Venom’ Page outpointed long standing rival Paul Daley at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut, after a tentative and disappointing fight fizzled out for the full twenty-five minutes.
Page deployed a hands down strategy from the opening bell, with a tentative start occurring with both men waiting for their opposition to throw first. The entire five minutes of the first round saw a complete lack of offense from Daley and Page, but MVP wins the round in the judges’ scorecards.
The second round picked up where the first left off, with Page landing from range before Daley looked to secure a takedown that the Londoner managed to thwart. Daley managed to secure a takedown with two minutes to go and earned some control time on the canvas, whilst looking to land some strikes. With seconds to go, Page managed to find his way back to his feet before Daley landed a big left hook to wobble his rival. The scores appeared level heading into the third.
Daley began the third round as the aggressor rather than the counter striker, with Page arguably looking more comfortable on the back foot. After a Daley takedown attempt, the Londoner managed to clinch against the fence, but the Nottingham-born veteran secured a smart takedown and some brutal ground and pound towards the conclusion of the round. Daley arguably led by two rounds to one heading into the fourth.
MVP played the aggressor at the start on the fourth round, landing a body shot and an overhand, but Daley again managed to land a takedown and thwart the progress of Page. Page managed to find his way to his feet with two minutes left in the round and landed a flying knee, with Daley opting to recover by clinching. MVP managed to secure control of Daley on the ground with moments to go in the round. It seemed to be winner takes all in the fifth round!
Daley kicked off the final round with a beautiful reversal to secure another takedown and managed to land a couple of strikes, with Page making it back to his feet at the midway point of the round. Page momentarily threatened with a rear-naked choke, but Daley managed to escape, but not without giving his back to Page. Daley managed to get back to his feet with just under a minute left on the clock. Against all odds, we went to the judges’ scorecards.
The judges scored the fight 48-47 unanimously in favour of Michael ‘Venom’ Page who moves to 14-0 and into the welterweight grand prix semi-final. Boos rang out to sound the crowd’s disappointment at the fight, which never really got going throughout.
Michael Page takes on former welterweight champion Douglas Lima in the semi-final with a shot at the 170lbs crown firmly in his sights.
The Bellator cage moves on to Dublin next week, with James Gallagher taking on Steven Graham in the bantamweight main event.
Michael Page def. Paul Daley via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47).
Mirko Cro-Cop def. Roy Nelson via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).
Cheick Kongo def. Vitaly Minakov via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).
Yaroslav Amosov def. Erick Silva via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-28).
Valerie Loureda def. Colby Fletcher via TKO (strikes) after 2:55 of Round 1.
Demetrios Plaza def. Andrews Rodriguez via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27).
Justin Sumter def. Reginaldo Felix via submission (neck crank) after 3:27 of Round 2.
Camron Lochinov def. Kastriot Xhema via submission (knee bar) after 0:53 of Round 2.
Tyrell Fortune def. Ryan Pokryfky via TKO (strikes) after 2:28 of Round 1.
Vinicius de Jesus def. Rodolfo Barcellos via TKO (strikes) after 3:46 of Round 1.
Jesse Kosakowski def. Rodolfo Rocha via submission (rear-naked choke) after 3:05 of Round 2.
Nekruz Mirkhojaev def. Pat Casey via submission (neck crank) after 1:18 of Round 3.