Michael Jerome Reece-Page has been fighting men since he was kid of 13. He grew up in north west London, and loved freestyle kickboxing and street dance. He was one of ten kids, several of them champions. He was the senior national champion in the sport as a child, in effect. A phenom. When he explodes in mixed martial arts, it’s there, in his expression, fighting style, and in his fighting persona. He has become not just Page, but ‘Venom’ Page. A series of highlight reel knockouts and finishes that have led to this moment. His proving time.
On Saturday night, Page fights a Brazilian by the name of Douglas Lima in a mixed martial arts fight here in the windy city, with the opportunity to elevate himself into an elite group of exponents of this fighting art, which can move literally anywhere from landing punches, elbows, knees and kicks, to ground grappling as complex as the footwork of the most fleet-footed boxers and karate fighters. It is the first of two semi-finals of the Bellator fight league tournament bringing life-changing greenbacks and serious kudos.
Page is 14-0 in his MMA career. He has dabbled in boxing with former world heavyweight champion David Haye as his promoter. He knocked out two opponents as if it were fun at a fairground. But now the fun stops. Saturday night is a legitimate challenge because of Lima’s ability to take the fight anywhere.