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Rory MacDonald shuts down Michael Page: Pay your dues, then you get the bigger fights

Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

Bellator MMA standout Michael Page thought he was going to have his toughest test to date in his next outing, as he was briefly linked to face Paul Daley in the headlining bout at Bellator 179 on May 19, 2017, inside SSE Arena in London, England.

But then the higher-ups flipped the script and instead booked Rory MacDonald to make his debut against "Semtex" at the same event, leaving "Venom" out in the cold.

According to Rory’s recent comments on The MMA Hour, while Page is an exciting up-and-coming prospect, he has yet to pay his dues and won’t be getting the big fights until he does.

"I think he’s still got his dues to pay. He’s made a lot of noise with the young career he’s had in MMA and he’s doing really good; he’s got the flash, crazy knockouts and he’s got the charisma and he talks well, gets people excited. People know of him and he’s turned into a big name pretty fast. But, at the end of the day, he hasn’t fought that many top guys yet. I think he’ll break into that slowly here. I’m excited to see who they put him against in London, hopefully it’s against someone pretty good to see what he’s all about. Once he gets through one of those guys at least, then I think he can start taking the bigger fights in Bellator."

Page’s biggest win to date is a skull-crushing victory over Evangelista Santos at Bellator 158 last summer. The undefeated fighter (12-0, 6-0 Bellator 7-0) is expected to compete at Bellator 179, though no opponent has been named.

As for Rory, he promises a "big change" in his fighting style for his promotional debut.

"I am going In there to prove a point, to show people what’s up, who I really am. I think they are going to see a big change and I think they are going to be happily surprised. I’m making a few tweaks, focusing on my strengths again. I have an obsession for learning martial arts, new things. Sometimes you get caught up with over-complicating things, and now I'm going to step back and focus on my strengths and not give a shit about what everybody’s strengths are and go in there with what I know."

Rory hasn’t hit the winner's circle since 2014, losing back-to-back fights to Robbie Lawler and Stephen Thompson in his final two fights with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

Anyone expect a succesful beginning for "Red King" under the Bellator umbrella?