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‘He has made a massive mistake’ – Michael ‘Venom’ Page on revenge mission against Douglas Lima two years on from KO nightmare


Lima and MVP go to war again on Friday (Picture: Bellator MMA/Will Fox)

Revenge is on Michael Venom Page’s mind every time he is caught off guard in a training session. ‘I am that way inclined,’ he says.

‘I call myself almost petty. Even in the gym, I hold grudges. If you catch me with a good punch, believe I am catching you with an amazing one.’

The need to right wrongs ramps up when the conversation shifts to Douglas Lima. The Brazilian is the only man to have beaten the Londoner in an MMA cage with a victory in Illinois in 2019. To add to the frustration, Page, a human highlight reel who has made a career out of sensational finishes, was knocked out cold himself.

On Friday, the two meet again in one of the biggest rematches in Bellator history at the SSE Arena, Wembley, with the winner likely to earn a shot at the welterweight title currently in the possession of Yaroslav Amosov. ‘He has done something to me and I need to get him back,’ Page added calmly. ‘And I need to get him back hard. That is my mentality.’

On that night almost two-and-a-half years ago, Page paid the price for going for the spectacular too soon, knocked off balance by Lima who then put him down with a devastating short-range hook. Prior to that moment in the second round, the Hackney fighter had looked in control of the contest.

Douglas Lima v Michael Venom Page Bellator 221 (Picture: Bellator)

‘It’s annoying to lose,’ he said. ‘I gave five minutes to myself to feel like an idiot. You can be a bit upset with yourself but after that, you dust yourself off and get back to work.

‘I was dominant at the beginning of the fight, it was going in my favour in terms of rocking him, his legs went a bit wobbly. I felt I was in control. Maybe I got too over eager, maybe I started to make a few little silly mistakes on my side.

‘The biggest mistake was getting up incorrectly at that point, I wanted to get up straight away and apply pressure. I should have been more patient, I should have stayed on my back and waited until the next round.’

Those moments of self-doubt didn’t linger too long.

The 34-year-old has reeled off five straight wins since that defeat, four of those coming via KO. While he was caught out once that night against Lima, Page has been undeterred in the cage, continuing to embrace that familiar, dazzling fight style he insists he will remain true to.

MVP and Lima toured London this week (Picture: Bellator MMA/Will Fox)

‘There is a reason I am so successful at what I do and that is I am just myself. I am very frustrating and awkward to fight against, it is very intimidating and it is very mentally draining to fight against.

‘It’s not just the style, it is the confidence. It plays on people. That ability to be a highlight reel always plays in the back of every fighter’s mind. They are thinking: ‘There is always a moment’ and it makes people second guess themselves and not feel as confident going forward.

‘My style is what makes me successful, it will never change.’

MVP vs Lima takes centre stage in London this week (Picture: Bellator MMA/Will Fox)

Lima is a veteran of 41 MMA fights, the last two of which were five-round world title contests. In October 2020, he fell short in his bid to become a two-weight world champion, losing to middleweight king Gegard Mousasi.

In June, he was outpointed by Amosov, losing the welterweight title in another battle. Friday’s showdown in the capital will be a three-round affair, with the hometown fighter warning the pace he will bring to the cage will overrun Lima.

‘He mentioned he hasn’t done any different training for a three-round fight. I think that is a flaw,’ Page continued. ‘If that’s an honest answer, he’s made a massive mistake. His style suits a five-round pace. He has got a very slow, methodical approach, he takes his time and chips away at you.

‘He is not going to have that time. His urgency in fights like this is not good enough.

‘Even if you make it to the second round, he’ll be so drained because of the pace that I’m going to be working at. I can go 10 rounds at the same pace.

‘The pressure I’m going to apply, he’s going to be twitching so much, he’ll be waiting to see what is going to happen, he’ll be missing punches, it is going to drain him. And it’s going to make it so much easier to put him away.’

Watch Bellator 267: Lima vs. MVP 2 live on BBC iPlayer from 5:30pm BST on Friday, October 1





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