John McCarthy: Michael Page’s ‘best years are ahead of him’

Michael Page
Image via @bellatormma on Instagram

Michael Page picked up another brutal knockout win over the weekend, decimating short-notice replacement opponent Gianni Melillo with a first-round punch. Unfortunately, this win doesn’t seem to have impressed many fans.

While Page is clearly incredibly talented, his naysayers have long argued that his record has been fluffed up by wins over less-than-stellar competition. In the eyes of many doubters, Melillo — a short-notice replacement opponent making his promotional debut — looked like the latest example of this pattern.

To make matters worse, Page is already 32, which has caused some members of the MMA community to worry that he’s wasting his prime years slaughtering sacrificial lambs.

Former referee turned Bellator commentator John McCarthy doesn’t believe this will be a problem.

According to the Bellator on-air personality, Page’s best years are probably still ahead, especially given that he’s taken very little damage over the course of his combat sports career. To remind, the Brit has lost just once, succumbing to a Douglas Lima knockout earlier this year. Other than that, he’s absorbed very little punishment in his career.

“He is still young and in his 17 fight MMA career he has only been damaged once,” McCarthy wrote in response to director Bobby Razak on Twitter. “He is already a star, and only bigger moments lay ahead for him.”

McCarthy was then reminded of Page’s age by Severe MMA writer Andy Stevenson. The former ref reiterated that the welterweight star has sustained very little damage.

“Yes , I know that,” he said of Page. “I have kids older than that. A fighters best years depend upon damage received. In my opinion, MVP’s best years are ahead of him as he is a very young and healthy 32 who will be fighting for many more years.”

Do you agree with John McCarthy on this one? Are we yet to see the best Michael Page has to offer, or is he squandering his best years fighting subpar opposition?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/25/2019.