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Michael Page on Bellator 281 loss to Logan Storley: ‘Wrestling shouldn’t be a tool to stall’

Page lost a controversial split decision to Storley, but not everyone agreed with the decision. 

Michael Page before his fight at Bellator 281.
Michael Page before his fight at Bellator 281.
Photo by Zac Goodwin/PA Images via Getty Images

Michael Page was frustrated with how his fight against Logan Storley went but accepted his loss.

‘MVP’ suffered a controversial split decision loss to Storley for the interim welterweight championship at Bellator 281 this past Friday. The decision was debated in the mixed martial arts community, as many believed the damage ‘Venom’ did outweigh the control ’Storm’ imposed in accordance with the unified rules of MMA. Similar to Bellator president Scott Coker, Page thought this would have been the case, but earned only one of three judges’ scorecards in his favor.

Page recently spoke to Ariel Helwani about his loss to Storley, which he does not contest. However, he does contest how fights like these are scored and explained why there should be some changes to the rules.

“In the moment, it felt very frustrating because of how he won,” said Page on The MMA Hour. “I’m not debating whether he won or not, I haven’t actually watched it back yet. A lot of people have told me since watching the fight again, they thought that I won the fight. But for me, I like to put more blame on myself. I didn’t do enough, I didn’t work hard enough to prevent him from holding me down in those kind of positions. But he was holding me in survival mode, like, ‘I’m just trying to make it to the end of the fight’ versus ‘I’m trying to beat him,’ which is why I genuinely do feel like the rules need to be looked at because there’s a bit of a loophole.

“It happened a week before in France with [Ryan] Bader, and he definitely won [against Cheick Kongo at Bellator 280], but I feel like you should be encouraged to do a lot more when you’re on the floor,” continued Page. “Wrestling shouldn’t be a tool to stall, it should be a tool to advance, to create submissions or to create damage and ground-and-pound.”

Given how he was being taken down and controlled on the ground, there was a moment when Page recognized he could be down on the judges’ scorecards. One of his coaches told him that he needed to go out and try to finish the fight. To his credit, he did exactly that and went for a flying knee but found himself on the canvas again.

Despite the risk not paying off, Page does not regret taking it.

“I’m going to be completely honest, based on the current ruleset that is in play, I assumed that I would’ve lost,” said Page. “After Round 4, I was literally having casual conversation in between rounds with my coach, and he’s like, ‘I think you’re down, you need to go for the Hail Mary, try to knock him out,’ which is why I didn’t play it as tactical. I reckon if I was a bit more tactical and I played it like I did in Round 4, just stayed away — but that’s just not my style. I want to try and go in and win, and win big. So we were just like, “let’s just go for broke.’

“In retrospect, afterwards, I was like, ‘Yeah, he actually didn’t do anything,” continued Page. “I’m being dead serious when I say I have not one bruise, not one sore, not one injury, nothing at all lingering from that fight. I genuinely feel like I haven’t had a five-round championship fight. It doesn’t feel like that because he didn’t come to inflict damage. He came to survive. Now, tactically, great for him. He won the fight, but it’s quite frustrating still to have lost that way.”

Because he suffered no damage from the fight, Page is prepared to fight again as soon as possible. The No. 2 ranked welterweight wants to stay active and hopes to get an opponent either in MMA or boxing.

“I’m going to push for it the same way I did when I lost the last time,” said Page. “I had five fights in one year. I’m going to push for it. I’m going to push to try and fight. If I’m not able to… maybe if they are pushing to get a rematch [with Storley] and it is a bit later, maybe I’ll go and do a boxing fight but I can’t keep still. I need to do something in between just to stay in action.”