Page has a 2-0 record in boxing, last fighting in 2018 (Picture: Getty)
Bellator star Michael ‘Venom’ Page is ready to make a sensational return to boxing this summer.
Having emerged from that split decision defeat unscathed and frustrated, the Londoner is eager to return to action as soon as possible. While he has vowed to set the record straight in a rematch against Storley later down the line, a return to the cage could be delayed until the autumn with the 35-year-old now considering ‘all possibilities’, seeking permission from Bellator to reignite his boxing career.
Page aligned himself with former heavyweight champion David Haye as he fought and won twice in the boxing ring in 2017 and 2018, working under Ismael Salas who counts British heavyweight Joe Joyce among his current crop of fighters.
Having long held ambitions to return to the sport, Page hopes to pick up from where he left off in the coming months.
‘I am desperate to get back, it didn’t feel like I had a championship fight against Storley even though I was in there for 25 minutes,’ Page told Metro.co.uk.
‘When I got out, I was absolutely fine, no marks, no swelling, no nothing. So I won’t be waiting around at all. I am looking at all possibilities right now.
Page says all options are being discussed (Picture: Getty)
‘I have already asked to fight again straight away but Bellator have only got one show a month up until October and most of those shows are filled up. I have already spoken to Bellator and said I am looking at other options and they have said: ‘Fine, just let us know what it is’. So hopefully we will have something.
‘The plan is to get a boxing fight in between. I feel fresh after a hard camp but no result to show from it. I don’t want to sit here for three or four months not doing anything.’
Page has suggested in the past that previous attempts to return to boxing have been spurned by more traditional figures within the sport who were resistant to the idea of MMA fighters crashing the party .
But with YouTubers now fighting under professional rules and more and more MMA fighters crossing over, it is now a more level playing field with Page pushing for a summer fight to ease some his recent frustration.
‘The world has changed since I was initially crossing over into boxing, so many people are doing the same thing now, not only from mixed martial arts but from everywhere,’ he said.
Page was frustrated against Storley in London (Picture: Lucas Noonan)
‘So their excuses are not valid anymore. Things are a lot more open. It is like there has been a U-turn, now they want me back. It will be a lot easier now.
‘That is what I’m pushing for – get a fight in, release those frustrations after not being able to do what I like to do best then get straight back in [for a fight with Bellator] around September or October.
‘People know what I’m about, I would only need to announce a fight and people would be happy to come and see it. I am going to be able to let loose and show my skills and get the KO.’
Page was initially scheduled to fight welterweight champion Yaroslav Amosov in London last month, with the Ukrainian withdrawing from that bout having returned to his homeland to defend his country from the Russian invasion.
Storley was drafted in to fight for the ‘interim’ title and while Page outshone in his opponent in standing exchanges, the decorated collegiate wrestler brought the fight into his world on the ground.
Page suffered just the second defeat of his MMA career (Picture: Lucas Noonan)
While Storley was able to ground his man, he dealt out no real damage, no submissions and ultimately no fireworks as the contest at the Wembley Arena fizzled out with Bellator president Scott Coker later echoing the frustrations of many of those in the arena that night.
While disappointed with his own performances, Page believes referee on the night Jacob Montalvo should have done more to force the action.
‘I have looked back at it, I wasn’t in danger at all. I think it is something referees definitely need to pay a bit more attention to,’ Page said. ‘I get it, I value wrestling, it is an amazing art and one of the most effective arts in MMA but you have to utilise it to inflict damage to win a fight, not stall. Referees need to be a bit more on top of it.’
While a boxing bout is on the cards for the summer, Page will also have one eye on the rescheduled July bout between Douglas Lima and Jason Jackson, the no3 and no4 ranked fighters in the welterweight division.
While he is desperate to set the record straight in a rematch against Storley, he admits the winner of Lima vs Jackson could jump the queue, possibly leaving him to fight the loser in the autumn.
‘There are a couple of other fights there to be made, Lima vs Jackson is soon so I will be keeping a close eye on that,’ Page said. ‘Maybe I will fight whoever loses as I’m assuming the winner will go onto fight for the title. Then, I will be right back at the top within one fight.
‘I know I can beat Storley. He was very tactical but at the same time, he can’t get any better than that. I just need to make a few more adjustments. He couldn’t handle me standing at all. He won’t be able to improve enough from now to next time to change anything.’
All European Bellator shows in 2022 will be live on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer. US Bellator shows will be live on BBC iPlayer and fans can catch up on the US action with the BBC Three Bellator highlights show.
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