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Exclusive: Michael Venom Page “2016 will be my year”

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Movement, speed, confidence, trickery and talent are just a few words to describe one of the hottest prospects in MMA Michael Venom Page. Page is currently signed to Bellator MMA and has gained a reputation for his unorthodox style of fighting and phenomenal movement but how did a  young man from London get into MMA? At younger age Page had been offered trials by top football teams in England, a basketball scholarship in America as well as being a talented dancer so why pick MMA? We caught up with Page and he tells us why:

“I never really settled with the other sports, I could enjoy playing football one week and maybe cricket the next I just never settled with any of them. Also my parents being so involved in the sport made it more of a family sport and with MMA your out their on your own not like the sports where you have a few guys with you, in the octagon you there on your own which I like”

Page is also an extremely talented dancer but does being his ability to dance help in his ability to fight?

“Absolutely 100%, I think the way I move and coordinate my body is different to any fighter out there. If I am trying new things in training I will pick things up a lot quicker due to my coordination and flexibility which all comes from my dancing”.

One of the key areas of Page’s game is his movement and his unpredictability so when he wants to train and gain more knowledge in human movement he trains with the master of human movement Ido Portal.

“I don’t love training with Ido just as because of his movement, I love training with him for every aspect of what he does and its not just movement. We work on movement, body proofing, rehab and to prevent injuries. Ido is brilliant to work with he works on things nobody else does like building up the strength in your ankles to prevent injury because in training the ankles are very commonly injured, I look forward to doing more work with him”.

In the UK the main sports would be considered football, cricket and boxing but is MMA on the rise and will it ever get to the level the other sports are on?

” I think its definitely on the rise 100%, boxing has such a wide age range of people watching it, you will have old and young people watching it because it has been around for such a long time so I think it will take time for MMA to get to that level but I think it definitely will”.

With the rise of MMA in the UK does Page consider himself the pound for pound best fighter from the UK and what does he think of the overall talent in the UK?

“Its very exciting times ahead for the UK we have some very exciting fighters coming up and I think its just a matter of time before were matching the Americans and Brazilians. I want to be the fighter that paves the way for all these fighters coming up, I want people to look at me and say Page is doing it I can do it, sort of like what McGregor did in Ireland before him there was nobody from Ireland and now your getting a load of Irish fighters coming through I want to do that for the UK. Would I consider myself P4P in the UK? I am definitely up there”.

When Page is in the octagon he is brimming with confidence but where does this confidence come from?

“My confidence comes from my coaches, I always believe in my coaches so when I am fighting I always think my coaches think I can beat this guy so I know I can beat this guy. Also from years of combat sports, I have won and I have lost so I’ve been through it all”

Page is currently signed with Bellator MMA but would he ever consider switching Bellator for the UFC?

“Bellator have always should faith in my possibilities and signed me after my third fight, I am very happy here and I respect everything Bellator are doing so right now I’m happy here”.

Page’s style has been compared to UFC featherweight interim champion Conor McGregor, McGregor fights Jose Aldo on December 12th and Page can’t wait for the fight.

“McGregor has the attributes to win 100%, he fights with such confidence and I think if he wins its very good for me also as it shows the different, unorthodox style works but Aldo has been at the top for such along time now he just knows how to win, its going to be very interesting”.

So with 2016 looming what’s in store for one of MMA brightest star’s?

“2016 will be a big year for me, you will see more highlight reel finishes, more fighters from team coming through and you will finally see me get that title”.

For all your latest news in the world of MMA make sure to follow MMA Latest News on Facebook and Twitter.

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Watch: Bellator 185 Prelims

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Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Complete Bellator 185: Mousasi vs. Shlemenko Fight Card:

Middleweight Main Event: Gegard Mousasi (42-6-2) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (56-9, 1 NC)

Welterweight Feature Bout: Neiman Gracie (6-0) vs. Zak Bucia (18-8)

Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Heather Hardy (1-0) vs. Kristina Williams (Debut)

Lightweight Feature Bout: Ryan Quinn (13-7) vs. Marcus Surin (4-0)

Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Ana Julaton (2-2) vs. Lisa Blaine (1-0)

Preliminary Card:

Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Jordan Young (6-0) vs. Alec Hooben (5-3)

Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Costello van Steenis (8-1) vs. Steve Skrzat (8-9)

Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Vinicius de Jesus (5-1) vs. Joaquin Buckley (7-1)

Lightweight Preliminary Bout: John Beneduce (2-1) vs. Dean Hancock (2-1)

Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Timothy Wheeler (1-4) vs. Pete Rogers (2-4)

150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Don Shainis (3-1) vs. Matthew Denning (5-6)

150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Frank Sforza (6-0) vs. Vovka Clay (3-2)

Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Kevin Carrier (Pro Debut) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (Pro Debut)

Flyweight Preliminary Bout: John Lopez

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*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.

Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)

Main Card:

Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)

Preliminary Card:

Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)

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Bellator 185 Fight to Watch: Heather Hardy vs. Kristina Williams

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Heather Hardy will compete in MMA for the second time at Bellator 185 on Friday night, as she faces Kristina Williams in a strawweight contest. The fight takes place on the main card at the Mohican Sun Arena in Connecticut.

Potentially, what Bellator have in Heather ‘The Heat’ Hardy is a major draw that they can build their 125 pound division around. While relatively new to the organisation she is fast becoming one of the more popular names on the roster. Her career is in the early stages, but many have already started to draw comparisons with former boxer turned MMA star, Holly Holm. Holm’s UFC success partly inspired the native New Yorker to make the switch from boxing.

Hardy is already an established world champion in the land of the ‘sweet science’, holding a 21 fight undefeated professional record. She made her MMA debut in June this year with a victory over Alice Yauger, at Bellator 180. At 35, Hardy is a late starter in the sport, but proved at Madison Square Garden against the credible Yauger that she has a bright future.

Hardy’s first outing in the cage was disciplined and composed. Despite a slow start in round one, Hardy grew in confidence as the fight progressed and her cardio never faltered. She mixed in plenty of kicks that complimented her boxing and looked at ease in the clinch, even defending a couple of takedown attempts in the process.

Despite looking on course for a decision win, Hardy forced the TKO stoppage with just thirteen seconds remaining in round three. Even a large cut that required seven stitches from an accidental head clash could not deny her victory.

Hardy was fighting an experienced professional, competing for the tenth time in MMA, which makes the win over Yauger more impressive. However, her upcoming opponent Kristina Williams will be making her professional debut.

There is little known about Williams except that she is 3-0 at amateur level. One of those wins came by way of submission so there may well be a threat to Hardy if the fight goes to the ground. More importantly for Williams is how she copes on the big stage against a popular opponent, who is more familiar competing in high pressure combat situations. If Williams can produce an upset it will be a huge boost in her young career.

But in all honesty, this fight is about Hardy. It’s about getting the win and gaining valuable experience. The boxing career is on hold while MMA takes centre stage. Beating Williams will mean she likely continues fighting inside a cage rather than a boxing ring.

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