Bellator welterweight contender Michael Page had an “off night” at Bellator Paris due to ring rust, theorized Bellator president Scott Coker.
Page defeated former Cage Warriors FC champion Ross Houston via unanimous decision at Bellator’s debut event in Paris. It was far from the best performance of Page’s career as he wasn’t able to let loose and score a flashy KO as his fans are accustomed to. It wasn’t a bad performance, but it was disappointing considering how talented Page is. In the wake of the fight, fans and media have taken to social media to criticize Bellator and Page for the matchmaking of this fight, suggesting that the Page vs. Houston fight was unnecessary.
Speaking to MMAjunkie.com following Bellator Paris, Coker was asked about the performance by Page and why he didn’t have his best performance. Coker admitted that Page was not his usual self inside the cage and pointed to ring rust as being a factor.
— MMA Junkie (@MMAjunkie) October 12, 2020
“MVP had an off night. That’s the bottom line. And I think part of it is due to inactivity which is part of the whole COVID situation. We just couldn’t fight him. Now that he’s able to fight, we want to keep him busy cause we think that he’s one of the most talented MMA fighters out there. He’s got a very unique style, but don’t underestimate this guy, you know? I know he said something about the ring/cage or the mat or something, but I think that most of what you’re seeing there is ring rust,” Coker said of Page.
“Houston is no joke. He’s a world champion from another league with an undefeated record. Don’t underestimate him. I think he’s someone that had his way with a lot of athletes. I think that MVP respected him and had to be careful. To me, it looked like two counter fighters there that tried to counter fight each other, counter punch, counter kick. MVP felt like he couldn’t do his thing and I think that maybe there’s some truth to the mat, I’ll have to look into that. But I think that most of that was probably ring rust.”
This was the first fight for Page in 2020, so perhaps Coker is onto something when he points to ring rust as being an issue. But at the end of the day, fans want to see Page fight better opponents. So the next time he steps in the cage, hopefully, he is fighting a top guy like Lorenz Larkin, Yaroslav Amosov, or Bellator welterweight champion Douglas Lima.
Do you agree with what Scott Coker said about Michael Page?