Michael Page got his revenge against Douglas Lima last night (Fri., Oct. 1, 2021) in the main event of Bellator 267 inside Wembley Arena in London, England, defeating "The Phenom" via split decision after 15 minutes of action (see it again here).
The win was Page's sixth in a row since losing to Lima in 2019, and set him up on the fast track for a title shot against current division champion Yaroslav Amosov.
“MVP,” however, has other plans.
Shortly after defeating Lima, Page revealed that he would forgo a shot at the title to take part in the trilogy fight against Lima to prove once and for all who is the best fighter of the two.
Plus, the fact that some felt Lima should have gotten the nod doesn't sit too well with Page, who says he wants a clear-cut win in the third and final fight between them.
“Let’s do five rounds. Why not? Let’s go longer. Because if by the end of the third, that had happened again, I’ve got two more rounds to find you and finish it properly. If I balance [my in-fight aggression] — I’ve gone from one end to the next, so hopefully I find that in the middle — then I finish him.”
Unlike UFC, not all of Bellator’s main events are five rounds, only championship fights are scheduled for 25 minutes. Still, it’s safe to assume Scott Coker and company could convince an athletic commission to allow a five round fight between these two combatants without a belt on the line.
According to Page, winning the title isn't exactly his long-term goal, or a goal at all. The way he sees it he is more popular than any other champion on the Bellator roster so having a title won't change that one bit. That’s why he has no issues running it back right away with Lima instead of gunning for gold.
"I’ve been telling people from the beginning. I feel like no one really listens. I don’t care about the title,” he said. “It’s a belt — who cares, man? How many people [are there] that are titleholders that are nowhere near as popular as I am? The belt doesn’t mean anything. It does obviously, but for me it doesn’t. I swear to you.
“That moment there [in regards to the feeling in London’s SSE Arena], there’s so many beltholders in Bellator that couldn’t pull that off. I could say that with confidence. There are a lot of people who cannot pull what I did off today, and I feel like people are drawn to me because of my enjoyment for the sport, not because I’m chasing anything. And like I said, it’s more about me and my journey. I want to prove things to myself. I didn’t get to prove that today. I won, but I didn’t get to prove what I wanted to prove, which is just make his eyes roll into the back of his head and not get back up, so I prefer to run it back."
Of course, one can make the case that winning the belt brings in more money for said fighter, though Bellator has always been very tight-lipped when it comes to fighter pay. That said, it's safe to assume Page is doing very well for himself as one of Bellator’s top draws.
Whatever the case may be it's not every day that you see a fighter pass on a title shot to take part in trilogy fight. Then again Page dances to the beat of his own drum.
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