Former Bellator standout Michael ‘Venom’ Page is keeping his options open.
The Briton, long considered one of Bellator’s prized possessions, is currently one of the biggest free agent commodities in mixed martial arts. He was strongly linked to signing a deal with the UFC after he was prominently featured on camera during the organisation’s most recent trip to London — something suggested that, at the very least, initial talks between the two parties were underway.
But more recently Page, who turns 37 in April, has said that, for now at least, he and the UFC are ‘flirting’ with each, and it remains to be seen if anyone will make the first move.
“I wish I could say for certain that we have or we haven’t,” Page said to The MMA Fan Show, as noted by MMA Fighting. “Honestly speaking, we’re not there yet. There’s still a few hurdles we need to jump over, but like I said, we’re flirting.”
While many questioned the calibre of talent that MVP sometimes faced in Bellator, it is likely that he would be a draw in the promotion’s welterweight division, particularly, for example, against someone like Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson in a prominent fight on a UK card.
“It’s difficult to say because I think there’s dream fights and a lot of those dream fights land in the UFC,” Page explained. “How I feel now to how I felt when I first joined MMA — you first join MMA, the whole goal was UFC because there was no other big shows that could really do anything. Over time, things have changed. It’s a lot more than just the name of the brand, there’s a lot more to it now. But ultimately, we can still get there and see those dream fights happen.”
Page, though, admitted that the PFL — who recently acquired Bellator — would also be an option for his next step in the sport.
“I think PFL by itself is definitely an interesting location to go to especially with their development, I can kind of see their progression,” Page said. “I wouldn’t re-sign with Bellator even though it feels like it’s essentially not signing with them if you know what I mean, but I just wouldn’t. It would feel like a backstep. I feel like I’ve done that now and I kind of want to progress and move forward.
“So whether that moving forward is with PFL is fine, because it’s cool, I get to potentially meet up with people I didn’t get to fight as well, so that could be interesting, or if I progress and move forward with the UFC. Going back to Bellator would literally feel like a backstep.”