The biggest domestic UK MMA fight of all time goes down this Saturday evening… in Connecticut, New England. The unbeaten and exciting Michael ‘Venom’ Page collides with the ever-entertaining knockout artist Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley in the opening round of the Bellator welterweight grand prix.
We’ve never been blessed with a major all-British affair in mixed martial arts. Outside of the UFC and Bellator, we’ve seen UFC vets Scott Askham and Luke Barnatt do battle, as well as Kane Mousah and Robert Whiteford… but nothing quite has the magnitude of Page vs Daley.
It makes the fact that this fight isn’t taking place in the UK even more ludicrous. Bellator president Scott Coker claimed they couldn’t find a suitable venue, so the fight had to take place across the pond. Bellator managed to soften the blow by unveiling their ground-breaking broadcasting deal with Sky Sports, meaning that UK fans will be finally able to watch Bellator cards live, starting with Page vs. Daley.
Michael Page has been considered one of the finest talents to emerge from the UK since making his MMA debut just over seven years ago. He’s toiled with injury troubles as well as a venture into boxing, limiting his Bellator appearances to just four showings in the last three years.
We’ve seen the spectacular from Page, with his flying knee knockout of Evangelista Santos gracing highlight reels for years to come. The spotlight will shine brighter on ‘MVP’ for this one, with Daley representing the toughest test at a tough time for the Londoner, who lost his father on Boxing Day 2018.
Paul Daley has been on the big stages throughout his sixteen-year career in the sport, having competed in the UFC, Bellator, Strikeforce, Cage Warriors and BAMMA. The Nottingham man has tasted victory forty times, with an impressive 30 knockouts on his resumé.
Daley has shared the cage with some of the true greats of the sport, including Nick Diaz, Tyron Woodley and Rory MacDonald to name a few. Saturday will mark his fifty-ninth walk to the cage, not to mention his twenty-four kickboxing bouts.
Who has the edge in the Bellator cage on Saturday night? Despite Page towering in at six-inches taller than Daley, that only translates into a narrow two-inch reach advantage. With both men renowned for their striking, you’d expect a standing battle that is unlikely to last the scheduled five rounds.
The winner will progress to meet former welterweight champion Douglas Lima in the semi-final of the welterweight grand prix. Who progresses? MVP or Daley? Let us know!
Elsewhere at Bellator 216, unbeaten Russian heavyweight and former heavyweight champion Vitaly Minakov rematches Cheick Kongo in the com-main event. Heavyweights also feature on the main card, with UFC vets Roy Nelson and Mirko Cro Cop set to do battle in an important event for the Bellator heavyweight division.
The main card kicks off at the ungodly hour of 3AM on Saturday night/Sunday morning, with the action available live on Sky Sports Main Event or Sky Sports Action.
The Bellator cage moves to Dublin, Ireland next week for Bellator 217, with Irish bantamweight James Gallagher taking on Steven Graham in the main event.
Main Card (3AM on Sky Sports Main Event/Action)
Welterweight: Paul Daley vs. Michael Page
Heavyweight: Vitaly Minakov vs. Cheick Kongo
Heavyweight: Roy Nelson vs. Mirko Cro Cop
Welterweight: Erick Silva vs. Yaroslav Amosov
Flyweight: Valerie Loureda vs. Colby Fletcher