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Paul Daley says Michael Page has ‘Justin Bieb-ed himself’ and ‘forced himself upon MMA fans’

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Paul Daley
Paul Daley
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Paul Daley is slated to welcome Rory MacDonald into the Bellator cage on May 19 at Bellator 179, but that wasn’t the first fight offer Daley received from Bellator officials.

Daley revealed this month on The MMA Hour that the organization initially offered him a match-up against fellow British welterweight Michael Page, however Daley declined the fight because he was, as he put it, “chasing the big dogs” of the division.

“Michael Page is doing what I was doing like 12 years ago,” Daley said on The MMA Hour. “I’ve been there, I’ve done that. His time will come. He’s asked for the fight, I don’t duck a fight, so he will get the fight. He’ll get what he asked for in due course, but right now, I’ve got to follow my own agenda and not bite to his agenda. I’m on my own sh*t right now.”

Not long ago, Daley and Page were seemingly on friendly terms. The two U.K. fighters did extensive media together across the region for past Bellator events, but that pleasantness shifted over recent months when the pair began to take minor shots at one another over the media.

Page took umbrage with Daley’s slights and dialed up his own offensive, making Daley the subject of an extensive callout campaign in hopes of securing a fight between the two Brits. It nearly worked, but in the end, Daley turned down the grudge match for what he saw as a better opportunity against MacDonald.

“Look, it annoys me that this guy has Justin Bieb-ed himself into the same ... sentence as me,” Daley said of Page. “He [talked] about me not being undefeated. No, I’m not an undefeated fighter, but I’ve achieved way more than this guy has. This guy, he’s a very talented fighter, let’s not get it twisted, but he has forced himself upon MMA fans. He hasn’t done the hard prep that I have. He’s paid for his social views and hits. He’s clicked that sponsor button that always comes up on his Facebook and has traded hundreds of pounds to get his views extended. I haven’t. I did it the hard way.

“Let’s forget Michael Page. Michael Page is Justin Bieber. And he said something about how he sat on the same stage as me. You can put Justin Bieber on the stage with Michael Jackson, but they ain’t in the same league. You know what I mean? Justin Bieber has achieved some great sh*t, he can be on the stage with Michael Jackson, but he ain’t Michael Jackson. So it is what it is. Let’s forget MVP. I’ve got Rory MacDonald. I’ve got to deal with that psycho. I need to focus on this crazy guy I’ve got coming after me.”

Daley, a 33-year-old veteran who scored one of 2017’s first Knockout of the Year candidates over Brennan Ward in his most recent outing, stoked the flames of the rivalry by comparing Page to controversial boxer Adrian Broner, reiterating that if he were Floyd Mayweather, Page is Broner, an understudy simply trying to ride his coattails and emulate the model set forth by himself over 15 years in the fight game.

“We’re similar, we’re both from the U.K., we like to talk and fight good. So yeah, there will be all these comparisons,” Daley said. “Except he ain’t me. He’s Broner. He’s a guy who’s trying to imitate what I have done. I’ve been there, done that, and I’m still doing it. I’ve outlasted my peers. You look at all the guys I entered these higher leagues of MMA with, these international leagues, they’re all gone except for Michael Bisping. Everyone from the U.K., they’re all gone. Just Bisping is left. Me and Bisping at the top, in my opinion. So he needs to give thanks for what I have done. I’ve sort of paved the way for him to even be doing what he’s doing.”

Daley also shrugged off the substance of Page’s social media campaign, much of which centered around Page calling Daley a feminized version of his name: “Paula.”

“It doesn’t (bother me), because it’s pathetic,” Daley said. “It’s childish. I thought he was younger than he was. It shows his level of maturity. I thought Michael Page was like, maybe 23, 26, the way he acts and carries himself. The guy is 30 year old. What 30-year-old acts like that, apart from Adrien Broner? Let’s grow up and sort your sh*t out, man.”