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Michael Page on ‘can crusher’ label: Anyone ‘can’ get it

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Is ‘MVP really fighting cans, or is he so good that he just makes these guys look like cans? Page would argue the latter.

Esther Lin - MMA Fighting

Michael “Venom” Page was back in action last night at Bellator 237 in Tokyo, Japan and he turned in another “MVP” performance (watch the highlights here). But at this point the only thing more reliable the flashy dance moves Page delivers before an impressive knockout are the accusations that he’s fighting an endless parade of cans. One reporter at the post-event media scrum didn’t mince words when bringing up the subject.

”I’m just going to tell you point blank: you look online and people are like ‘This wasn’t a quality opponent,’” the press member said. “You’ve heard it all. Does that annoy you?”

”Where I’m at now, I find it a bit of a compliment,” Page replied. “Because we already know, people that truly understand MMA, they know these opponents, they know what they’ve gone through, they know their standard. And they still call them a can. That just means I’m making them look like that. It says I’m on the right track in terms of the fashion I’m winning in. Everyone keeps going on about this ‘crushing cans.’ And I’m going to start agreeing with you, and everyone ‘can’ get it.”

It’s a solid response, but won’t erase the general perception people have that Page isn’t exactly being challenged by Bellator matchmaking. Shinsho Anzai was no can (like Page’s two previous opponents could be classified as, at least in comparison to “Venom”), but he also wasn’t Lorenzo Larkin, another welterweight who was fighting on the same card. Page kinda sorta ducked a question about fighting Larkin next while at the same time calling out Bellator welterweight champ Douglas Lima for avoiding him.

”I just find, for me, Lima’s response quite weird,” Page said. “It just says a lot about maybe where his heads at, in terms of he wanted to fight me before and then I came back quite quickly, I had a few fights and now he’s ‘not interested.’ Talks of him going up and this and that. Feels like he’s trying to distance himself as much as possible. Everybody else is what it is. I’m just going to keep fighting til he can’t get away from me. And I will get that, I will get that back. That’s the only thing that’s sitting on my record so I’m going to be reminded of you over and over again. So I’m coming back and it’s going to be a fun night that night.”

And while it was another fun night in Tokyo watching Page play with his food, there was no over the top post-fight victory celebration, something that’s become a bit of a trademark in past “MVP” fights. Page told reporters it was because he knew the crowd in Japan wouldn’t appreciate it.

”100%, I’m always very aware of my surroundings,” he said. “You got to read the crowd and just the moment. And me coming over here brought back a lot of oldschool memories of my martial arts youth days and having to bow for everything ... So yeah it was nice to just switch off. That’s why I made the entrance a big thing, being a massive Naruto fan, I made that the thing to stand out and everything else was just to show respect.”