(Photo: Jim Edwards)

Michael ‘Venom’ Page Earns Unanimous Decision Win Over Paul Daley in Surprising Bellator 216 Main Event

It definitely wasn’t the fight everybody expected but Michael ‘Venom’ Page still got the job done over five rounds to earn a unanimous decision victory against Paul Daley in the main event at Bellator 216.

It definitely wasn’t the fight everybody expected but Michael ‘Venom’ Page still got the job done over five rounds to earn a unanimous decision victory against Paul Daley in the main event at Bellator 216.

In what was being described as a grudge match for the ages and arguably the biggest fight in U.K. MMA history, Page and Daley were long on conflict outside the cage but failed to deliver much drama once they met on Saturday night.

From the opening seconds of the first round it was obvious that neither Page or Daley wanted to be the one to make a mistake and get caught by a knockout strike.

So unfortunately that resulted in a largely inactive opening round with Page in pursuit of Daley all around the cage but neither fighter really unleashing any kind of offensive through the first five minutes.

The first real action happened in the second round when Daley surprised Page and probably everybody else watching when he landed a takedown before working a ground attack from the top.

Daley wasn’t doing a lot of damage but he was staying in control while Page looked like a fish out of water trying to get up from the bottom without absorbing any punishment on the mat.

The same strategy largely played out for the next three rounds except Page was able to stave off a few takedown attempts while landing some solid strikes including a jumping knee that snapped Daley’s head back during one particular exchange midway through the contest.

By the fifth round, the fight was seemingly tied up at two rounds a piece and Daley was back to work with another takedown just seconds after the fighters were released from their corners.

Daley looked like he was ready to ride out his control on the ground to a decision but Page was finally able to slip free before the round ended and that’s where he managed to shift the momentum to his favor.

After reversing positions on the ground, Page took Daley’s back and nearly sunk in a rear naked choke before giving up on the submission and deciding to just blast away at the British slugger until the final horn sounded.

Following five rounds of action, the judges all saw the fight the same way with 48-47 scores across the board for Page, who now moves onto the semifinals of the Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix.

“He didn’t come into fight. MVP came into fight,” Page said while taking a dig at Daley after the fight was finished.

With the win, Page remains undefeated but more importantly he is now into the next round of the welterweight tournament where he faces former champion Douglas Lima in May.

Lima was on hand Saturday night as he entered the cage with Page just after his victory. Unlike the rivalry with Daley, Page had nothing but good things to say about his upcoming opponent.

“It’s gonna be a massive honor to share the cage with someone I respect,” Page said to Lima.

As for the former two-time Bellator champion, Lima showed the same level of respect to Page while promising that he will be ready for war when they meet on May 11 to determine the first finalist of the Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix.

“Expect fireworks when we get in here May 11,” Lima stated. “He’s a puzzle that is yet to be solved.”

Here are the full results for Bellator 216 from Saturday night in Connecticut:

Michael Page def. Paul Daley by unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)

Mirko Cro Cop def. Roy Nelson by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Cheick Kongo def. Vitaly Minakov by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Yaroslav Amosov def. Erick Silva by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Valerie Loureda def. Colby Fletcher by TKO (strikes) at 2:55, R1

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.
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