MVP to face Amosov for title in London


Michael ‘Venom’ Page is on a six-fight winning streak

Michael ‘Venom’ Page will face Yaroslav Amosov for the Bellator welterweight title in London on 13 May.

The 34-year-old is the first British fighter to challenge for a Bellator world title on home soil while Amosov defends his belt for the first time.

Page said London was the logical venue for the bout, which will be broadcast on the BBC iPlayer.

“Everyone knows what I can do in my country. It just makes sense,” he told BBC Sport.

“I don’t think he has a choice but to come to London. It doesn’t matter who has the belt – it matters who has the biggest reputation. You’re not going to sell that fight anywhere else.”

‘I’m not here for the title’

There have only been two British world champions in the USA’s two biggest mixed martial arts promotions. Michael Bisping achieved the feat in the UFC in 2016 and Liam McGeary enjoyed a reign as Bellator’s light heavyweight champion in 2014.

Yet even when offered the chance to become only the second Briton to win a Bellator title, Page had to be convinced to accept the fight.

That was because he had set his sights on a trilogy decider against Douglas Lima, who he lost to in 2019 and then beat last October. That defeat was his only loss in 21 contests.

But his team believed that the best option was to fight Amosov for the belt and then pursue another fight with Brazil’s Lima as champion.

“It was me that was trying to go away from the title, but now, it makes sense,” Page said.

“I’ve always said from the beginning, I’m not here for the title. It’ll come. If you keeping winning, you’ll end up with a title.

“That’s never been my goal. My goals have been to entertain and draw more eyes to the industry and make changes. I feel a lot of things needs to change.

“You have to be in a certain position to make changes but those things are way more important than just the bling.”

Amosov ‘best guy in MMA right now’

Amosov is a formidable champion – unbeaten in 26 pro fights, and an elite wrestler and grappler. The 28-year-old swept aside swept Lima via a unanimous decision at Bellator 260 last June, in what was predominantly a wrestling contest.

Page said many would consider his opponent the “best guy in MMA right now” because of his undefeated record.

“The guy is amazing,” Page said. “If you actually think about it, he’s technically the best guy in MMA right now. In terms of his winning record I think he’s at the top.

“The only person who was ahead of him was Khabib [Nurmagomedov], and he’s retired now. He’s very good everywhere. Very dangerous, great wrestler, good with his submissions.

“I don’t think he’s that dangerous standing up, but his understanding of stand-up makes him dangerous.

“It means he’s hard to hit and he sets up his takedowns so well. He is a very dangerous person. It’s a great fight for me to test where I am.”

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