Michael “Venom” Page delivered another spectacular performance to score his 19th career win and move one step closer to a rematch with the only man to defeat him.
Page, known to his fans simply as “MVP,” scored a first-round TKO finish of Derek Anderson at Bellator 258 in Uncasville, Connecticut on Friday night to extend his winning streak and stake a claim for a shot at the Bellator welterweight title.
Page opted to walk to the cage with no walkout music as his arrival in the behind-closed-doors arena was met by eerie silence.
But the London Shootfighters-trained fighter was no less entertaining than usual inside the Bellator cage as he showcased his unique striking and movement to befuddle Anderson throughout the first round of their 175-pound catchweight fight.
Page landed 17 of 23 strikes in the round, picking and choosing his moment to strike as he consistently landed clean on the American, who had never previously been stopped with strikes in his 21 previous fights.
The British star dropped Anderson with a lightning-fast right hand, but the teak-tough American bounced back to his feet and continued to push forward in an attempt to pressure Page into a mistake.
But Page was virtually flawless as he barely took a clean shot from Anderson during the round. Then, four minutes into the five-minute first frame, “MVP” landed the decisive strike of the fight.
Page, who had been reading and assessing his opponent’s movements throughout the round, timed Anderson’s dip to his right side and connected with a perfectly-timed head kick, which landed flush to Anderson’s face.
The strike left Anderson with a badly broken nose and, although he made it to the end of the round, the fight was stopped in the corner when the doctor decided Anderson was unfit to continue.
It gave Page the 12th knockout victory of his career, and extended his run of form to five straight wins, with four coming by knockout.
Speaking about his fight-ending kick, Page said, “I knew I’d land it. From the beginning, obviously a lot of people know I come in straight lines.
“I’m a sniper, I come down the middle, and he kept trying to pull his head to one side.
“I wanted to keep checking and seeing if he’s going to keep going to the same side, which he did. So I knew eventually I was going land a shot on that side.
“I didn’t know it was going to be that big, but amazing shot for me.”
Page then called for a rematch with the only man to defeat him, current welterweight champion Douglas Lima.
“Everybody knows what I want. There’s one redemption fight I’m looking for,” he said.
“He’s constantly got excuses for me now. I’m not interested in even calling his name, but everyone knows who he is. We will meet, and the same stuff is gonna happen.”
And if Page needs one more win to get his wish, he also had a suggestion for his next matchup.
“Whoever’s up there. Jason Jackson’s there. Amazing fighter. I’d love to share the cage with him,” he said.
“Whoever. I just want to get to the top.”