Michael "Venom" Page went from being a human highlight reel to someone who may have had the worst major fight of the year on Saturday night.
In promoting Page's fight, Bellator ran a video of its greatest knockouts in history, and listed as No. 1 was Page's flying knee strike finish that caved in the skull of Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos on July 16 in London.
But two rounds of almost complete inactivity, followed by a third round which Page lost, led to a frustrating night for Page who remained unbeaten at 12-0 in a split-decision win over Fernando Gonzalez (25-14) that was heavily booed by the fans at the SAP Center in San Jose.
"Normally, I put on a show," said Page (12-0). "People have high expectations. I had a bad day at the office.
"When you're working with someone being negative ten minutes of the fight, it's very difficult to get anything off. In the last round, I was disappointed in not figuring out the timing. It was still a bad day at the office, but I won that fight two rounds to one."
Page was showboating in the first round, but doing very little and the crowd started booing quickly. Even less happened in the second round. By the end Page was heavily booed for lack of aggression, to the point in the third round where the referee stopped the fight and warned him.
He claimed that Gonzalez wouldn't fight in the first two rounds and that he couldn't get his timing down in the third.
The crowd heavily cheered the scorecard announcement for Gonzalez.
"I felt like I was chasing a headless chicken," said Page. "It was very difficult to get something off on someone being so negative. I landed a few jabs and a kick to pull him in. In the final round, when he was pressing, I didn't get my timing off to where I could land the shot I wanted to land. That's why I'm disappointed. But whoever that judge was who scored it 30-27 (for Gonzalez), don't sit in that corner when I fight again."
So little happened in the first two rounds that you could almost score them 10-10s.
"Obviously you don't ever want to get booed," said Page. "I've been booed before, but in this particular situation it was due to the performance. Usually I'm booed because I'm coming from abroad. It added to the frustration for me because I love to give a good performance. I had a bad day at the office, and I still took a win. I managed to achieve what I wanted to achieve.
Gonzalez said that he gave away the first round of the fight wanting Page to gas out. He felt he won the fight, and seemed far happier than Page after the fight.
"I should have pressed a little bit earlier in the second," said Gonzalez. "I had to let him run himself out of gas in the second, and then pressed him in the second. I'm the shorter fighter. It's difficult for me to land a clean shot But I shut his game down."
Gonzalez asked for a rematch in a five-round fight.
"I'll take a rematch, but I've got other things in mind" said Page, "He didn't take his chance when he got it. I'm going to move onward and upward."
Page mentioned wanting a fight with new Bellator welterweight champion Douglas Lima, who just captured the title last week, with a win over Andrey Koreshkov in Tel Aviv, Israel
"I saw the last fight as I'm sure you all did," he said about the title change. "I'm happy for Douglas Lima. After he lost, it was good to see him fit and in shape. I look forward to a challenge like that."