Michael “Venom” Page lost the first fight of his career on Saturday night at Bellator 221, and the knockout defeat was just as spectacular as many of his wins. Douglas Lima threw a long leg kick that knocked “Venom” off balance, and then hit him with a flush swang that sent him falling back to the canvas. Words really can’t do it justice ... you should just watch the highlight right now if you haven’t seen it a thousand times already.
Afterwards, Page expressed frustration at the loss but didn’t seem particularly phased by it. Not the loss of his 0, or the violence of the finish.
”I’m fine. Doing fine. Just annoyed,” he said during a post-fight media scrum (video via Bloody Elbow). “At the time I didn’t know what happened, I had to watch it back. It was more my mistake in how I got up. I think I was getting a bit too much success and it just boosted my confidence, so after I got down ... when I was on my back the first round, I was controlling his wrists and like he can’t do anything on the floor even.”
”On the way in on one of my shots, he hits one of his leg kicks, I slipped. And instead of just sitting on the floor, I was like I’m just going to get back up and go on fighting. I stood straight back up and it was a very accurate punch, very accurate punch that I walked into. And he’s one person you don’t want to get hit by at the best of times, so....”
”In all honesty, if I could lose to anybody I’m glad it was him,” Page continued. “He’s an amazing martial artist and person. Right away I said I respected this man. If I could lose to anybody it would be him. So I’m kind of over it. It’s more about bouncing back now and what path I should take.”
That respect for Lima was mirrored in an Instagram statement put out on Sunday.
”If I had to take 1 L in my career I’m glad it was to this warrior Douglas Lima, an amazing martial artist and person,” he wrote. “I felt like I was in control the whole fight, made a mistake by standing up incorrectly and at this level it only takes one bad choice, and I paid for it. But I’m still smiling and even more motivated to get back in the cage and correct this mistake.”
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If I had to take 1 L in my career I'm glad it was to this warrior @phenomlima an amazing martial artist and person. I felt like I was in control the whole fight, made a mistake by standing up incorrectly and at this level it only takes 1 bad choice, and I paid for it. But im still smiling and even more motivated to get back in the cage and correct this mistake. Thank you to everyone that have sent such positive messages and another thank you to the haters fuelling my drive just like Arnold Schwarzenegger "I'll be back"
”Thank you to everyone that have sent such positive messages and another thank you to the haters fueling my drive. Just like Arnold Schwarzenegger, ‘I’ll be back.’”
Page is just the latest fighter to realize a bad defeat doesn’t have to damage your brand too badly so long as you dust yourself off with dignity and accept the loss with humility. It’s a good look ... one we’re sure “Venom” hopes we won’t have to see again for a long time. As for when he plans to return, Page said September was the original plan and nothing has changed. But will it be the same aggressive “MVP” from Bellator 221 that shows up?