England’s Michael “Venom” Page may have his sights set on a championship belt this week, but he still had time for a message for the man he was supposed to be facing in London at Bellator 281.
Page was all set to take on undefeated Bellator welterweight champion Yaroslav Amosov in the main event at the OVO Arena, Wembley, on Friday night. But, due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Amosov has flown home to help defend his country.
It’s meant that Page’s original matchup has been switched to an interim title fight, with fellow top contender Logan Storley stepping in for his shot at championship gold.
For Page, it means he still gets to perform at home, in front of his adoring fans, who always produce an incredible atmosphere for his fights at Wembley.
“I love London and the energy I get from the supporters, my family and my team. It just feels like everyone is there for me,” he told reporters at Bellator 281 media day in London.
“You guys have seen me bounce off energy, so when I get big energy I just love to show up.
“For me, the belt is the cherry on top, but I’m going to go out there and do what I normally do, regardless of there being a belt.”
The switch in opponent was a topic of conversation, with Page set to face a top-drawer wrestling talent in Storley, as opposed to the combat sambo specialist in Amosov. It’s a slight change in style, but one that Page said actually suited his game.
“It’s been different (adapting his approach for Storley), he said.
“Although they are (both) exceptionally good at wrestling, there’s different styles of wrestling.
“I found Logan’s style more familiar to the majority of MMA fighters, versus Amosov’s style. So, technically, it’s been a better adjustment.
“His striking is nowhere near mine. It’s not even something I’m considering for this fight.”
Page seems in confident mood ahead of the matchup, but he took the time to send a message to the absent champion, who faces an altogether more important fight back home.
“I wish Amosov and his family well,” said Page.
“Hopefully everything comes to a final conclusion and nobody is suffering.”