Thursday, April 18, 2024

Michael ‘Venom’ Page eyes UFC return in Manchester, names potential opponents

Michael “Venom” Page has his sights set on big things as a UFC fighter. The longtime Bellator MMA star silenced doubters by defeating Kevin Holland in his promotional debut at UFC 299. Next up is a potential home game against the welterweight elite.

MVP dazzled fans and frustrated Holland over three rounds with his elusiveness and accurate counterstrikes. Page absorbed a mere 30 significant strikes across 15 minutes of action, according to UFC Stats. He is itching for a quick turnaround after defeating Holland via unanimous decision. The English fighter says there are discussions about him getting a home date at the rumored UFC Fight Night card in Manchester.

“I’m completely fine. Everyone always has a few knocks and bruises but nothing crazy at all,” Page told CBS Sports on Thursday. “There are talks of me coming back for the U.K. The show is in Manchester. That’s July, I believe. I think that’s plenty of time for me to come back. Obviously, I have to figure out an opponent and so on. I’m still away on holidays. I need to get back and speak to my coaches properly. 

“We have to navigate what we think and speak to the UFC. There’s a big process that goes into it. But if I could get on July, come out relatively unscathed again and jump in again in September, that would be a very happy year for me.”

Check out the full interview with Michael Page below.

UFC president Dana White told reporters at the UFC 299 post-fight press conference that it was important to matchmake Page against opponents who mesh with his wide, elusive stance. MVP already poured cold water on a dream match with karate specialist Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, claiming their similar styles likely produce a boring fight.

“The likes of Ian Garry would be a fun fight I guess. Stylistically, the likeliness is it’s going to be quite explosive on the feet,” Page said. “[Vicente] Luque is another good fight. He’s a very explosive guy. A very powerful guy on his feet as well. That’s a good fight.”

Jack Della Maddalena scored an impressive come-from-behind knockout win against Gilbert Burns at UFC 299. Della Maddalena (No. 5) and Page (No. 13) might be a tad far in the UFC’s official welterweight rankings, but the Australian fighter certainly fits the stylistic bill.

“I’ve seen him before but I was very,  very impressed with how he dealt with such an amazing fighter in Gilbert Burns,” Page said. “The scrambles he did. There were a couple of things I felt Gilbert did wrong. He made a few silly mistakes. But [Della Maddalena] looked so good. He seems like a hard person to kill in all positions. He’s definitely a dangerous opponent. Another exciting fight.”

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