Michael 'Venom' Page on making David Rickels quit, being 'face' of Bellator

LONDON – Welterweight star Michael Page wasn’t surprised when David Rickels suddenly waved off their fight at Bellator 200.

It was, he said, the inevitable conclusion of a fight that was headed in one direction.

“When you know that if you continue with this fight, it’s only going to get worse from there, you wave the right flag, and that’s exactly what he did,” Page (13-0 MMA, 9-0 BMMA) told reporters after their Paramount-televised co-headliner at The SSE Arena in London.

There was also a very immediate reason for Rickels (19-5 MMA, 13-5 BMMA) to capitulate, Page ventured. A right hand “exploded” Rickels eye and opened up a cut that needed stitches.

Immediately afterward, Page was overwhelmed by the emotion of putting away an opponent who’d talked a fair amount of smack heading into the fight. He walked down Rickels and yelled, “You’re (expletive) – you know you (expletive) up.”

“A bit rude, but he did eff up,” Page said.

“Venom” wasn’t disappointed his cage time was cut short by the sudden end. Although there was a little bad blood, he enjoyed getting the whole thing over quickly.

“I don’t get paid for overtime, so if he wanted to quit, that’s his business,” Page said. “I’m coming back to the cage, and I’ll do it another time. I think most people enjoyed the show anyway, so I’m happy.”

With one fight left on his Bellator contract, Page figures to be in a good position to renegotiate his deal. A showdown with rival Paul Daley beckons, and a title shot against champ Rory MacDonald doesn’t seem far away.

But Page isn’t interested in titles. He just wants to keep building himself until his star power is undeniable.

“Everyone’s talking about belts, and I could not give a damn about who’s wearing what belt,” he said. “No one fights like I do. With or without the belt, I’m the face of this company.”

For complete coverage of Bellator 200, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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