Michael Venom Page has wowed crowds in nearly every MMA fight in which he's competed in. That's nothing new – but he wants more. He wants to change the sport, even if it comes at the expense of titles fights.
“Everybody wants to see that title belt around their waist, I'm not any different. My main goal is to change the way people see the sport. The belt is a bonus. The belt will come to me if I keep knocking people out. The way the Gracies changed the sport, I'm going to change the sport in the stand-up,” Page told Fightful.com.
Page has certainly carved an interesting path for himself, one-upping his own performances on a regular basis. Page was scheduled to face Fernando Gonzalez this Friday in London for Bellator 158 before pulling out. This comes just a couple of months after Gonzalez accused Page of backing out of their Bellator 151 fight to protect his record. Page said after all the trash talk, he was a little peeved.
“It didn't bother me, to be fair. I was just waiting to see who the next opponent would be,” Page said. “It didn't change my training too much. I was wanting to get my hands on Fernando Gonzalez because he was running his mouth off about me. I wanted to shut him up. I think he backed out for a reason, and now I have Cyborg.”
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Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos is a traveled veteran of mixed martial arts. The ex-husband of UFC's “Cyborg” Justino, Santos. The well-traveled fighter isn't anything that Page feels he has to change his camp up for.
“They're similar type characters. I think Cyborg is more established in the world of MMA. It's just another fight for me,” Page said.
Fightful also spoke to Page's opponent Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos, who doesn't really care about the aura of Page.
“He's really fast and flashy, but that's only until he gets hit by me,” Cyborg exclaimed.
The 38-year old Santos came out of retirement in January, and will fight for the fourth time in 2016 at Bellator 158. To put that in perspective, Santos fought only four times between July 2010 and December 2015, but he doesn't plan on slowing down. In fact, he didn't want to hang up his gloves in the first place. Now he's making up for lost time.
“I didn't want to retire at the beginning, I was sad and I knew it was a mistake. I want to fight four more times after Bellator 158. Even though I lost my last fight, I was ready. I was in the gym. I was training. I'm always going to say yes,” Santos said. “I want Michael to be ready. It's going to be a war.”
Page and Santos do battle Saturday night at Bellator 158 on Spike TV.
By Sean Ross Sapp - Photo courtesy of Bellator MMA