Bellator commentator Big John McCarthy explained why he recently said Michael Page fought better competition than Anderson Silva during his early career.
McCarthy’s comments during the Bellator New Year’s Eve card drew the ire of MMA fans and media, who were quick to criticize McCarthy for his comments that Page fought better competition than Silva during the early parts of both fighters’ careers.
Instead of retracting his controversial comments regarding Silva, McCarthy explained in further detail on the “Weighing In Podcast” why he made the comparison.
Check out what McCarthy said below (transcript via TheBodyLockMMA.com).
“I’m not talking about Anderson over his entire career. If you want to break his career into sections, I can say this and say at the beginning, his first 16, 17, 18 fights, Anderson Silva had decent competition at times, good competition at times, and bad competition at other times. He fought and lost to Daiju Takase. Takase was 4-7. His first 20 fights, he was 16-4. He fought good fighters in Jeremy Horn, (Hayato) Sakurai. Sakurai was a 170-pounder. He was small. It’s a good win over a good opponent but he’s fighting way out of his weight class,” McCarthy said of Silva.
“MVP has fought one fighter with a losing effort his entire career and that was his second fight. Every other fighter he’s fought has had a winning record. So you can’t sit there and say they’re giving him cans. If you don’t like Michael Venom Page, fine, you don’t like him. I’m telling you he’s one of the most exciting fighters I’ve ever seen. That’s just as simple as it gets. He is exciting to watch. He is fun to watch. He puts on a show.
“Now has he had bad fights? Yeah. He had fights where he didn’t do what he was supposed to do, and won against guys like Fernando Gonzalez, a very tough fighter and a guy that has fought guys that Anderson Silva fought. Gonzalez beat Alex Stiebling. If you look at MVP and you match them up correctly, MVP has 18 fights so I was going off of him having 17 fights, it matches up very well. It does not mean that MVP’s career can be matched with Anderson’s career at this moment.”
As talented as Page is, the common criticism during his career to date has been that Bellator has given him favorable matchmaking. Comparing his career to Silva, even the early part of the legend’s career, just doesn’t sit right with a lot of fans. Ultimately Page has a lot to prove at this point if he wants to make McCarthy’s comparison hold any water with MMA fans, as “The Spider” is universally respected as an all-time legend, while Page still has a lot to prove in the minds of most fans.
Do you agree with Big John McCarthy that Michael Page fought better competition than Anderson Silva coming up?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 1/7/2020.