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Paul Daley on facing Michael Page at Bellator 216, looking further into the Welterweight Grand Prix

Daley is 2-3 in his last five fights, and will look to settle a score with rival Michael “Venom” Page

One of the favorites in the Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix, Paul Daley opens the tournament against an enticing opponent in Michael Page. The rivalry between these two has escalated over the past few months and Bellator President Scott Coker knew the bout had to get made. Putting these two together at the beginning was a way to make sure the fight actually went down the right way. Now that it is here, expect fireworks.

Daley (40-16-2) is currently 2-3 in his last five fights but his overall record speaks for itself. With 30 wins via knockout, “Semtex” will look to move on and win a title that has eluded him since joining Bellator.

When the fight was announced, there was confusion by many as to why the event wasn’t in both Daley and Page’s home backyard, the UK. Coker stated during the pre-fight media scrum that there were scheduling conflicts with various locations. As for Daley, he told Double G Sports he didn’t seem to mind.

“I think Bellator tried their best to get the fight in the UK,” Daley stated. “I wouldn’t say I was overly disappointed because I am very comfortable fighting in the United States. The only downside is not having fans and my family show up for the fight. For me though, I’m comfortable.”

Daley’s unique skill gives him a slight advantage over Page (13-0), who has taken the MMA world by storm. The 35-year-old is not taking his opponent lightly, however. He may have faced a few opponents like him before, but Page is still a dangerous and hungry fighter.

“I haven’t overlooked the fact that Michael Page has hundreds of light-contact kickboxing matches,” Daley continued. “I’m not just judging him on the 13 MMA fights or the two boxing fights he’s had. He’s got a lot of fight experience coming from a fight family.”

Daley truly believes that he has his number just over skills alone. His kicks and punches can result in a deadly combination against any fighter.

When it comes to the rivalry, Daley sees this as a one-sided affair. There is no animosity on his side compared to Page’s. Is this personal? Based off of a few comments, Daley wouldn’t quite say that.

He (Page) would like this to be personal, but for me, its just a matter of being honest,” Daley went on to say. “I like to think of myself as always being me, straight to the point. I was asked after a fight of what I thought of Page. I said he’s a great fighter, but as far as looking toward the future, he’s an Adrien Broner and I’m a Floyd Mayweather. He took that to heart. They are both rich, they are both talented boxers, one’s been in the game a bit longer, one’s doing better. That’s all it was.”

While Daley doesn’t see it as a big deal, MVP will look to take him out right away. While the story is not as extreme as MMA fans would want to hear, the animosity has resulted in one of the most heated and anticipated rivalry fights in MMA today. As far as how the fight will go, Daley believes that if everything is aligned perfectly he can put it all away.

As far as looking forward, the winner of this fight would face Douglas Lima in the next round.  Daley has faced Lima before, losing to him via unanimous decision at Bellator 158 back in 2016. Comparing the two, Daley sees Lima as a tougher opponent than Page. If he was to move on and face him, Daley sees a different result happening.

“They are two completely different styles,” Daley stated in regards to Page v. Lima. “Lima is a Muay Thai fighter, slightly more grounded when he throws his strikes, he’s got the jiu-jitsu black belt. Everyone’s bigger than me in this division but he has a big, thick built. I’m preparing for him differently compared to the first time. I’m pretty confident if I make the right adjustments and don’t rush out as I did in the previous fight that I can beat him in under five rounds.”

Bellator 216: MVP v. Daley takes place tonight (February 16th) inside the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT. You can watch the event exclusively on DAZN.

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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.
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