Bellator star Michael ‘Venom Page’ has opened the door to a probable move to the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Speaking on the ‘Believe You Me’ podcast with Michael Bisping, the 34-year-old refused to rule out the possibility of a move to the UFC and revealed it inspired him to pursue a life-long career in mixed martial arts.
‘MVP’ made his 16th Bellator MMA (formally Bellator Fighting Championships) appearance earlier this month, squashing Derek Anderson’s nose flat against his face with a savage head kick.
In the cage, Page has a record of 19-1, with 12 of his wins coming by way of knockout, which has left many fans wondering how he would do in the UFC if he is given the chance to prove himself.
Speaking with Bisping on Friday, Page admitted that the thought has crossed his mind before.
“100 per cent,” Page said (via MyMMANews). “If I’m being honest, when I first started, the only reason I started was to go to the UFC.
“That was the biggest thing, and it’s obviously still one of the biggest shows.
“Obviously, there’s a lot of shows popping up, but in general, especially when I started, anybody that was getting into MMA, their goal was to get to the UFC, and the majority of people are still the same.”
“Yes, I enjoy Bellator, and I enjoy where I’m at, and I enjoy my success so far,” he added.
“But I definitely feel like I need to touch the UFC at some point and just test myself there, as well.
“There are some great matches to be made over there, so I definitely think in the future, I don’t know when, obviously I’m contracted to being in Bellator, and I’ve got some goals I got to achieve there, as well, and I feel like I’m close to doing that.
“But until then, I definitely still see myself going [to the UFC].”
Should he make the move, Page would be following in the footsteps of Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler who have been successful in both promotions.
Page’s background as a decorated kickboxer (he is a former WKA World Championships gold medallist) and highlight-reel knockout artist would certainly make him an intriguing addition to the UFC roster.
Bellator president Scott Coker recently told MMA Junkie:
“People give him a bad time online, and I’m thinking to myself, this guy is such a highly skilled mixed martial arts athlete and has a traditional karate background, which you saw today, and it’s very effective – and people give him a bad time.
“I never understood it because he’s fought some of the world’s best. He fought Douglas Lima as a titleholder in the semi-finals.
“He got caught, but Douglas Lima told me, ‘Coker, that guy, he hit me and he hurt me.’ He’s one of the few guys that Douglas has told me that he’s gotten hurt by.”
He continued: “So to me, the guy is explosive, he’s fast, he’s got a lot of power. He could knock people out.
“He’s a dangerous guy, and for anybody, because his style is so unorthodox, it’s going to be interesting for any athlete to try to overcome that because if you’re a wrestler and you try and take him down, you might end up with a knee to your face.
“He’s fast, and I think he deserves a title shot – so let’s see what happens with the Lima fight. But depending on what happens and when ‘MVP’ wants to fight again, I don’t think a title shot is out of the question, to be honest.”
Coker replaced Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney as the head of the organisation and has since welcomed former UFC and professional boxers into the promotion.