Michael “Venom” Page hasn’t put pen to paper on his latest promotional contract yet, but he’s edging closer.
Page departed Bellator at the end of his contract, and rumors were rife that he was all set to make the jump to the UFC. Those rumors only grew stronger when he was captured at Octagonside in Abu Dhabi for UFC 294. But, according to the man himself, any reports of a done deal are a touch premature.
“I wish I could say for certain that we have or we haven’t (agreed a deal)” Page told The MMA Fan Show this week.
“Honestly speaking, we’re not there yet. There’s still a few hurdles we need to jump over. But, like I said, we’re flirting.”
The UFC has long been considered the ultimate destination for MMA fighters, but the allure of fighting for the biggest promotion in the sport still plays a big factor for Page, but the UFC no longer stands as the only major option on the table for “MVP.”
“It’s difficult to say because I think there’s dream fights, and a lot of those dream fights land in the UFC,” he said.
“How I feel now to how I felt when I first joined MMA — you first join MMA, the whole goal was UFC, because there was no other big shows that could really do anything.
“Over time, things have changed. It’s a lot more than just the name of the brand, there’s a lot more to it now. But ultimately, we can still get there and see those dream fights happen.”
If Page isn’t to land in the UFC, his most likely alternative would be the PFL. Ironically, they just acquired the promotion Page recently departed, Bellator, but Page admitted that there was certainly some notable potential in a move to the PFL.
“I think PFL by itself is definitely an interesting location to go to especially with their development, I can kind of see their progression,” he explained.
“I wouldn’t re-sign with Bellator, even though it feels like it’s essentially not signing with them, if you know what I mean. But I just wouldn’t. It would feel like a back step. I feel like I’ve done that now and I kind of want to progress and move forward.
“So whether that moving forward is with PFL is fine, because it’s cool, I get to potentially meet up with people I didn’t get to fight, as well, so that could be interesting – or if I progress and move forward with the UFC. Going back to Bellator would literally feel like a back step.”
Despite his positive comments about the PFL, the smart money remains on “MVP” joining the UFC for 2024, with the Londoner’s appearance with UFC’s chief business officer Hunter Campbell in Abu Dhabi showing that conversations are already ongoing between the two parties.
“I got to be invited by Hunter over to Abu Dhabi to watch a show over there, which was an exceptional show,” Page explained.
“It was actually the first time I met Dana (White). Yeah, it was still early doors, but it was just nice to meet the people that are interested.”