Michael ‘Venom’ Page announces MMA free agency after 10-year Bellator run

Michael Page is an MMA free agent.

Known for his flashy and theatrical striking style, the 36-year-old welterweight announced Monday on The MMA Hour that his Bellator contract has expired and he is interested in exploring his options within the combat sports world.

“I am currently unemployed,” Page said, laughing.

“I think it’s time for me to just explore what else is out there. It doesn’t mean I’m not going to go back with Bellator. It just means I want to see what other people think of ‘MVP.’”

Page (21-2) said Bellator still holds a matching clause for any new contract offers, however he believes the promotion will accommodate him if he wants to pursue other opportunities. He noted that he has “a lot of options on the table” and a return to boxing or bare-knuckle boxing is possible as well.

Page also said he plans to be in attendance this Saturday at The O2 Arena for UFC London.

“MVP” has competed under the Bellator umbrella since 2013 and owns the record for the most knockouts (11) in the promotion’s history. He’s won 17 of his 19 appearances in the Bellator cage, losing only to former champion Douglas Lima and in a controversial split decision to Logan Storley for the interim welterweight title in May 2022. Along the way, Page picked up wins over Paul Daley, Lima, Derek Anderson, David Rickels, and Evangelista Santos, the latter of which was widely regarded as one of 2016’s best knockouts.

Page needed just 26 seconds to defeat Goiti Yamauchi via TKO this past March in a fight that may ultimately serve as his final appearance in the Bellator cage.

He said news of his contract expiring was surprising and speculated that the uncertain status of a potential sale of Bellator may have played a part in his current situation.

“I think all of us missed it,” Page said of his contract. “Weirdly enough, I think it’s just one of those ones that we just all missed. [The Yamauchi win] was an exciting, quick fight. I was actually eager to try and get something going again. Obviously they were sorting out their own shows and getting that in place. But nobody really looked at contracts until we were like, ‘OK, what’s the next move?’ And I think it was [manager] Audie [Attar] or one of the guys on the team was like, ‘Oh yeah, you’re up.’ So it’s quite an interesting situation.

“[Bellator officials are] normally a lot sharper on that, and even usually when you’ve still got a few fights left, they’re already talking about what the progression is,” Page added. “So I think there’s a lot going on in the back office with their potential transition as well, and new owners, and so on and so forth. So yeah, I definitely feel like they kind of missed something there, but I think things happen for a reason in my opinion. I think it all happened for me to be able to have this space now and to make this decision, to actually say to myself, ‘OK cool, let me explore the waters in the MMA ocean and see see what bites.”