Michael Page’s reputation took a hit at Bellator 165.
The usually dazzling welterweight prospect was met with a chorus of boos for his in-fight antics against Fernando Gonzalez in the co-main event. The fight was more dancing with the stars than MMA, as MVP danced and flaunted around the ring for three rounds without really landing any significant strikes.
His opponent, Gonzalez, turned things up a notch in round three but ultimately fell short on the judges’ score cards.
Page, who eked out a split-decision win, said he had a ‘bad day at the office’ and struggled to get his timing down.
"Normally, I put on a show," Page said after the bout, per MMA Fighting’s Dave Meltzer. "People have high expectations. I had a bad day at the office.
"When you're working with someone being negative ten minutes of the fight, it's very difficult to get anything off. In the last round, I was disappointed in not figuring out the timing. It was still a bad day at the office, but I won that fight two rounds to one."
In his last fight, Venom almost crushed Cyborg’s skull with a perfectly timed flying knee and his Pokemon-inspired post-fight celebration went viral on social media. With last night’s win over Gonzalez, however, Page could have a lost a large portion of that fan base.
The London-based fighter, who began training in martial arts at just three years old, wasn’t happy with the boos but said that he got the result he wanted.
"Obviously you don't ever want to get booed," said Page. "I've been booed before, but in this particular situation it was due to the performance. Usually I'm booed because I'm coming from abroad. It added to the frustration for me because I love to give a good performance. I had a bad day at the office, and I still took a win. I managed to achieve what I wanted to achieve.”
Gonzalez has called for a rematch but Page, 29, has his sights set on the Bellator welterweight title and would like to challenge Douglas Lima.
"I'll take a rematch, but I've got other things in mind" said Page, "He didn't take his chance when he got it. I'm going to move onward and upward."
"I saw the last fight as I'm sure you all did," he said about the title change. "I'm happy for Douglas Lima. After he lost, it was good to see him fit and in shape. I look forward to a challenge like that."
Page moved to a perfect 12-0 in his professional career and has won all but two of his fights via stoppage.