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Paul Daley vs. Michael Page grudge match targeted for early 2018, 'MVP' to box in meantime

Bellator president Scott Coker reveals that Daley vs. Page is planned for early next year, with MVP expected to box in preparation.

Michael Page, or MVP, is one of Bellator's fastest rising stars and was hoping to fight British rival Paul Daley in September.

But, according to Bellator CEO Scott Coker, Daley wanted the fight pushed back to next year. Coker is hoping to get the fight booked for early 2018 in London, England.

“What happened was, Paul called out MVP, and so we reached out to Paul and said, ‘hey, do you want to fight before September?’ And he said, ‘no, I don’t want to fight before September,’” Coker told Ariel Helwani on a recent appearance of The MMA Hour (h/t Shaun Al-Shatti of MMA Fighting). “He said, ‘I’ll fight MVP, but I’ll fight him at the beginning of the year.’

“So that fight will happen. It’s going to happen in London and it’ll probably be in the first quarter of next year.”

Daley and Page have been going at it for over a year, but things really kicked off when 'Semtex' charged at 'Venom' at Bellator 179, which saw Daley lose in the main event to former UFC title challenger Rory MacDonald.

Page, an undefeated fighter with a background in Taekwondo, mocked Daley for turning down the initial fight offer after making such a scene at Bellator 179.

According to Coker, the striking dynamo will be taking a couple of boxing fights later this year to prepare for his showdown against the Nottingham-based Daley.

“We have a deal with the local promoter over there,” Coker said.

“We asked [Page], ‘do you want to kickbox or do you want to box?’ He prefers boxing. He wants to get a couple fights in, probably to get ready for Paul. Paul’s got some good hands. So we said, ‘go ahead and go do that,’ just like we did a deal with (boxing promoter) Lou DiBella (to promote some of his boxers in MMA), right?

“So it’s exactly the opposite. It’s like we’re kind of lending out MVP to go box, and then I told him, I said, ‘MVP, if you want to come kickbox or fight MMA before the end of the year after your boxing, you’re more than welcome to. Or if you want to take a couple boxing fights, go ahead and just get ready for this fight at the beginning of next year.”

The boxing fight taking up all the headlines this year, of course, is the 12-round extravaganza between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr. on August 26.

Page, 30, last fought at Bellator 165 where he beat Fernando Gonzalez via a lackluster split decision.