It may seem a natural fight, one too good not to happen, but a potential all-British welterweight showdown between Michael ‘Venom’ Page and Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley may have hit a fairly significant stumbling block
A battle of hard-hitting and vocal Englishmen, Page vs. Daley has long been discussed and was even mooted for Bellator’s show at Wembley in May, only for Bellator to instead make a main event between Daley and former UFC star Rory MacDonald. Daley lost that fight in the second round, yet even that couldn’t stop him calling Page out on the mic, nor prevent him chasing after Page, a bystander that night in London.
Bellator President Scott Coker all but confirmed the fight in the aftermath of Bellator 180. He said it was an obvious one to make and that it was likely his promotion would be heading back to England – specifically, London – before the end of the year, probably around September time.
This plan was confirmed by Michael Page yesterday in a video he posted to social media. He said, “So, check this: Bellator contacts me with some news. Amazing. We are gonna main event you and Paul Daley back in London in September. Jeez! That is just what I wanted to hear. After Paul Daley loses horribly to Rory MacDonald, he decides to call me out. He gets outside of the cage and conducts himself unprofessionally, running at me and causing a bit of a scuffle outside of the cage. No problem. Now it’s gonna happen. Main event in London, September.”
It all, at this point, seemed as good as done. Too good to be true, in fact. We were readying ourselves for the initial press conference and wondering what kind of mind games the two would have in store for the other. But then, just as this excitement started to build, Page hit us with the sucker-punch.
“But check this,” he said, “Paul Daley, for the third time this year, has said he’s not going to fight me. I know, I know, I know. You’re thinking the same thing: that doesn’t make sense! He called me out! Paul Daley, you’re a disappointment to every UK fighter. You’re a disappointment to every fan in MMA that wanted to see this fight and there’s a lot of people that wanted to see this fight. You’re a straight disappointment. You are forever going to be known as Paula ‘Tampax’ Daley. That is your legacy. And like I said, this is the third time now, so you’re out. Don’t ever ask me to fight again.”
We can only hope Daley hasn’t turned down the fight and Page doesn’t follow through with his threat. After all, for two men at a crossroads in their respective careers, this fight should mean even more to them than it does to us.