Michael "Venom" Page has had an up and down relationship with Bellator brass during his time with the promotion but said things are moving in the right direction.
Page spoke with Ariel Helwani on the latest edition of The MMA Hour ahead of his rematch against former Bellator welterweight champion, Douglas Lima, at tonight's Bellator 267 event from London, England, and talked about the progression of the way the promotion is pushing him now.
“There was a lot that was kind of going on in the background and things I was kind of unhappy with,” Page said (h/t MMA Fighting). “Had those conversations, [and] things are 10 times better. You can see that they’re working on a lot. Even with the promotion for this fight, I kind of had mixed feelings about it. Seeing my face and me and Lima’s fight branded around London was amazing. Obviously, I have friends and family messaging me, and so on and so forth. It was great. That was the positive side. The negative side was kind of like this should have been happening so long ago. How many times have I been here, how many times have I put on such an amazing show? I’m a safe bet to put money on basically. So that’s the negative side, but it’s great to see what’s going on. The push that they’re putting behind me, and I think definitely a lot more people have faith in my abilities and what I can do.”
He continued on to say while he loves the fact that Bellator allows him to be himself, there's no denying that the UFC is the bigger brand of the two. Page has made it no secret in the past about his desire to one day fight in the Octagon.
“I know they don’t like it, but the fact is [the UFC] are the bigger brand, if we’re just looking at it as a business,” Page said. “In terms of their promotion and they’ve got the Embedded show, they’ve got this, they’ve got the behind the scenes, all that kind of stuff makes for better branding and it’s the kind of stuff they’re lacking over here. Again, I’m a massive fan of Bellator and I have been for a long time, cause I love the way they do the walkouts. You can really get individual characters, which I like. I’m a big character. I don’t want to be one of many. I want to stand out. So I love that side of it, the formula they’ve created on that side. But they need to be doing a bit more, which it seems that they are headed in that direction. I’m allowed to really show my personality and be myself. Obviously, I haven’t been over there [at the UFC] to know, but it doesn’t seem like you can show as much. You kind of have to fall in line with a lot of stuff. But at the same time, I make noise anywhere I go. I’m definitely happy for [Bellator]. Again, they’re not always happy to hear about competition, but the only thing you should be focused on then is being better than that competition.”
All roads lead to this! ----— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) October 1, 2021
2️⃣+ years after their first encounter, @PhenomLima and @MichaelPage247 square off once again…
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