Even though Michael ‘Venom’ Page was forced to pull out of Bellator 179 due to injury, the budding welterweight contender was still the centre of attention.
Page, who was expected to face Derek Anderson in the co-main event, was ringside for the event at the Wembley Arena in London, England and was attacked by British rival Paul Daley after his headlining bout against Rory MacDonald.
Wow. Paul Daley just went for Michael Page in the front row and they had a scuffle. Pandemonium. #Bellator179 pic.twitter.com/hhA2usDDgN
— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) May 19, 2017
Daley was submitted by MacDonald in the second round and was carted off by security after he charged at Page.
Page, 30, was ringside with Daley’s mother and had to ‘calm her down’ after ‘Semtex’ almost started a brawl in the crowd.
MVP has lost all respect for his fellow countryman for putting his own mother in a state of distress and panic.
“I kind of expected it,” Page told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour (h/t Shaun Al-Shatti of MMA Fighting). “Because I felt he went in there knowing that if he wins the fight, he would automatically call out Douglas Lima, going for the belt, and if he lost, which he did, he would call me out. So, I think that was just very tactical. But I have to say, I’m extremely disappointed and I’ve lost all respect for Paul Daley. And it’s not because of him calling me out.
“The main reason was his mom was in the crowd, distressed and angry after the incident. And obviously, knowing that your family is there, you have to be careful, you have to be professional about how you handle yourself. And I had to kind of explain and calm her down. We had a lovely conversation; although it was tense, I had to calm her down. It left her feeling a lot better afterward obviously, but I would never put my mother in that situation, having to defend my battles over something that I caused. So I have to say that I’ve lost a hell of a lot of respect for him.”
Page has had a rivalry with Daley dating back to last year, and the London Shootfighter believes his stint at Bellator London was completely manufactured.
“I find it funny, because there’s a time and a place for everything, and since all the hype started, we’ve been at a couple of events where we’ve been sitting across the room from each other, and this was the first time he’s looked me in my eyes,” Page said. “And he decides to do it then. I was a bit annoyed, but then at the same time I found it a bit funny because, one, if he exited the cage the opposite way, within five steps he could’ve looked me straight in my face, and there was hardly anybody around at that side. He went out the opposite way and then decided to create a scene and charge towards me.
“I hadn’t actually said anything to him at the time, so I would love to actually hear what triggered him to turn around and charge at me anyway. I hadn’t said anything, I hadn’t shouted anything, I hadn’t waved at him, there was nothing. So, again, I think he’s just trying to sell another fight and distract people from the whooping he actually got in the cage.”
Manufactured or not, Daley’s altercation with Venom added even more fuel to the fire and Bellator chief Scott Coker is looking to book a grudge match between the two welterweights by the end of the year.
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