MICHAEL ‘VENOM’ PAGE avenged the sole loss of his professional mixed martial arts career with a stunning performance on home turf.
MVP recorded a split-decision victory former three-time welterweight champ Douglas Lima in the main event of Bellator 267, which took place in front of a packed crowd at the SSE Wembley Arena.
The London Shootfighters standout suffered a brutal KO loss to the Brazilian two-and-a-half years ago at Bellator 221.
But he erased the ghost of that night in Rosemount Illinois, with a tactical display – although the victory was a hard-fought one.
Fan favourite Page is now in pole position to face newly-crowned welterweight champ Yaroslav Amosov.
But ‘Venom’ wants to properly close the book on his rivalry with Lima with with an emphatic victory in a trilogy fight.
He said: “I’ve told everybody from the beginning, I feel like nobody really listens, I don’t care about the title.
“It’s a belt. How many people, titleholders, are as popular as I am?”
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Despite avenging his sole loss, Page was disappointed he didn’t get the finish.
He said: “I won, but I didn’t get to prove what I wanted to prove.
“Which is make his eyes roll to the back of his head, just knocked the f**k out. I know I can do it.”
Page adopted his usual playful and light stance early, bouncing on his feet and measuring the former champ.
And he dropped Lima with the first punch he threw, felling the Brazilian with a big straight that sent the arena into raptures.
The 34-year-old followed that up with another huge right that once again felled The Phenom.
Page, however, grew a tad overconfident and ended up being taken down after throwing a wild spinning kick and ended the round on his back.
The fleet-footed Page opened the second round with a jumping front kick to the body, which he followed up with a telegraphed straight.
I didn’t get to prove what I wanted to prove
Michael ‘Venom’ Page
Despite being down on the scorecards, Lima adopted a cautious approach to the second – opting to attack the lead leg of the elusive Page.
Page must have suffered a moment of deja vu after having his leg kicked out from underneath him when he tried to throw a right hand.
But unlike in their first fight, Page learned his lesson and was more cautious with how he got back to his feet.
And he ended the round strong thanks to another lightning-fast straight right from one his trademark karate blitzes.
Round three proved to be the best for the battle-weathered Lima, who dropped the evasive Page with a big left hook.
But Page, to his credit, responded with yet another strong straight right off a blitz.
Clearly aware the fight was slipping away from him, Lima shot in and secured a takedown.
The American Top Team product quickly went to work in guard, landing some strong shots after breaking Page’s grip.
Page, however, managed to do enough to stop a late onslaught and survive the round.
Bellator 267 Results
Michael Page def. Douglas Lima via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Andrew Fisher vs Robert Whiteford – No contest (accidental eye poker)
Luke Trainer def. Yannick Bahati via TKO (elbow) – Round 2, 2:50
Tim Wilde def. Yves Landu via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Lewis Long def. Michael Dubois via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 0:41
Davy Gallon def. Kane Mousah via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Elina Kallionidou def. Petra Castkova via submission (heel hook) – Round 1, 2:07
Jack Grant def. Nathan Jones via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 2:16
Fabacary Diatta def. Nathan Rose via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Chiara Penco def. Katharina Dalisda via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 2:45
Khurshed Kakhorov def. Jair Junior via unanimous (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
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