November 26, 2019

Watered-Down Venom: Michael Page Should Only Be Fighting Contenders In Bellator Now

By Adam Martin

Michael Page is talented, there's no doubting that. The British striker has a 16-1 record in his MMA career, with 13 finishes, many of them of the highlight-reel variety. He's able to do things with his limbs that very few other fighters can. But there's one problem -- the majority of his opponents just aren't very good. At age 32, Page should be fighting title contenders in the Bellator MMA welterweight division. Nothing less is good enough at this point.

Bellator was criticized for years under the Bjorn Rebney regime for the slow build of Page, and it's continued into the Scott Coker era as well. It took Page six years of being undefeated just to fight anyone half decent when he took on Paul Daley in 2018 in the first round of the Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix. Up until the point, he had only been in mismatches.

Though Daley put up a tough fight, Page got the job done and then met Douglas Lima in the semifinals of the tournament. After getting through everyone else up until that point with ease, Page was brutally knocked out by Lima in devastating fashion. But Lima is an incredible fighter, and there's no shame in losing to him. The fact Lima dominated former champion Rory MacDonald in the finals to become the new Bellator welterweight champion proves he's an incredible talent.

You'd think Bellator would continue to give Page half-decent opponents, but since losing to Lima, Page has fought two nobodies in the form of Richard Kiely and Giovanni Melillo. Page, as expected, knocked them both out, including a one-punch KO over Melillo this past weekend at Bellator Europe 6. But who cares? No one has ever heard of these guys, so for Page to beat them both means nothing. For some reason, Bellator continues to feed Page unknown opponents, and quite frankly, despite the highlight reel finishes, it's quite boring to watch.

Page should not be fighting people that hardcore MMA fans haven't heard of. He should only be fighting top contenders. A Lima rematch could happen at some point, but Page should have to fight someone like Daley in a rematch, or former champ Andrey Koreshkov, or top contender Lorenz Larkin next. If he wants a rematch with Lima for the belt, then he has to beat someone halfway decent, not these unknown guys that Bellator keeps feeding him.

At the beginning of Michael Page's career it made sense that Bellator was matching him up with lesser opponents in order to build him up and introduce him to fans. But it's 2019 now, and everyone knows who Page is. It's time he exclusively fights contenders, not random people no one has heard of. Hopefully, Bellator gets the memo and starts putting him into matchups with some fighters, because it's just boring at this point watching him toy with fighters who don't belong in the same cage as him.

Bellator Europe 6
Michael Page vs. Giovanni Melillo: Michael Page def. Giovanni Melillo via knockout (punch) at 1:47 of Round 1.

Bellator Europe 6: MVP vs. Melillo (formerly Bellator Europe 6: MVP vs. Anderson, Bellator Europe 6: Edwards vs. Shipman) took place November 23, 2019 at The SSE Arena, Wembley in London, England.

Click HERE for more Bellator Europe 6 Post-Fight Analysis


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