UK MMA Roundtable: Bellator 216 – Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley vs Michael ‘Venom’ Page

It’s fight week and after a long and public back and forth we finally get to see MMA’s equivalent of Chris Eubank vs Nigel Benn as Michael ‘Venom’ Page takes on Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley.  The clash takes place in Connecticut and has a uniquely British feel so we at WHOA TV invited a selection of the best known UK MMA journalists and media owners to add their voices to ours and bring you a  UK perspective on arguably the biggest mixed martial arts clash to ever feature UK born talent.

Chisanga Malata – Daily Express
MVP vs Daley is one of the biggest UK MMA fights in recent history. Two of Britain’s best going to war to settle a longstanding beef. What more could fight fans ask for? Daley will have his work cut for him getting his hands on Page, who may prove to be too elusive for him.

Prediction: Michael ‘Venom’ Page

Scott Lagdon – WHOA TV
It’s hard to see this fight going any other way than a striking heavy contest where both men will be looking to place the big shot that will leave their opponent unconscious. Page will aim to keep Daley at range using his unorthodox movement and catch him with a big shot coming in. On the other hand, Daley will want to get on the inside and start throwing wild punches in the pocket. He will need to put constant pressure on MVP so that the undefeated fighter can’t settle into his usual rhythm and dictate the tempo.

I see MVP being the more efficient and accurate striker and think that he will land something big on Daley in the second round that will end the show. That would then set up an absolute belter with Douglas Lima in the next round of the tournament.

Prediction: Michael ‘Venom’ Page (2nd Round)

Simon Head – Freelance Sports Writer
MVP’s best work comes from range, while Daley does his best stuff up close, and it’s that battle for range that will decide the fight. If MVP is at his elusive best, I think he will pick off Daley on the way in. But if Daley can get inside, things could get very interesting.

Prediction: Michael ‘Venom’ Page

Michael Morgan – WHOA TV
It’s hard to argue that Michael ‘Venom’ Page is as battle tested as his opponent when you look at the calibre of fighters he has faced in his relatively short MMA career. When you compare them to the clashes Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley has been in it’s evident that side by side ‘Semtex’ is clearly the more well equipped combatant. Page’s krytonite for Daley is undoubtedly his submission skills. However, given Daley’s take down defence in previous wars it’s difficult to see how Page gets him to the canvas.

Semtex has been in wars with tricky opponents, he’s been in deep waters and come back harder when athletes have tried to drag him under. Daley always finds a way of closing the distance then switching off his opponent. He’s done this 32 times in his career. Unless he succumbs to fighting on emotion I see this being a win by KO for Paul. The only thing that may unravel his calm demeanour, recently on show at the London leg of the Bellator 216 presser, is he faces an opponent in MVP who is a master at frustrating fighters.

Prediction: Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley (via second round KO)

Nick Peet- Fight Disciples
The question marks surrounding the validity of Michael ‘Venom’ Page’s claims to be one of the most exciting talents in mixed martial arts will all be answered this weekend should he better veteran welterweight top contender and countryman Paul Daley in the Bellator 170lb tourney quarter final. Daley’s legacy is assured, having campaigned at the highest level for well over a decade.

This fight is all about MVP and whether he can repeat his breathtaking striking skills against a genuine top level fighter. Puncher vs artist, veteran vs prodigy, loser leaves town… most British fight fans are hoping MVP is all that and are ready to board his bandwagon to the top. But the ultimate litmus test awaits and destructive Daley won’t stand and admire Page’s moves like his previous victims! The time is now!

While the safe money has to be on Daley, I’m a dreamer at heart, so I hope we see the coronation of a superstar this coming weekend.

Prediction: Michael ‘Venom’ Page (via KO)

Jon Husler – WHOA TV
As much as I see Paul Daley being a big threat to MVP, I can’t see past a Venom victory in this monumental fight. With little to no respect between the two, I think that MVP’s awkward style will end up frustrating Daley, regardless of his experience and know-how.

Prediction: Michael ‘Venom’ Page

Andreas Georgiou – Drey Sports
As much as I believe that Bellator is resting its hopes on an MVP win in order to shore up their 5 year strategic investment, I’m picking Paul Daley to use his experience to unsettle Page’s rhythm, close the distance and finish MVP in Round 4 or 5.

Prediction: Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley

Barry Tanser – WHOA TV
This has the makings of a classic, I expect Daley to come out strong and pressure MVP. Despite being 6’3″ MVP only has a 2 inch reach advantage on Paul, I don’t think range is going to play a huge part, Paul knows how to work in the pocket He has taken 3 losses in his last 5, though against 3 top quality opponents.

Page hasn’t fought guys of the same calibre, Dave Rickells being his toughest test to date, I think this is a massive test of his pedigree. Both of these guys have knock out power, if it stays on the feet this is going to be a barnstormer. MVP really needs to think about putting Daley on his back and working for a submission or points victory. I don’t think he will though and I think it might be his undoing. I think Paul might well shock a lot of people and finish MVP with strikes.

Prediction: Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley

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