The ongoing saga of Michael Page and Paul Daley doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon, but at least there’s timeline fans can now attach to the two English rivals.
Following Page’s latest social media salvo, which declared that Daley had turned down a planned September grudge match between the Bellator welterweights, Bellator president Scott Coker revealed on The MMA Hour that Page vs. Daley was still in his promotion’s plans, but that the match-up would have to wait until early 2018 due to insistence on Daley’s part.
“What happened was, Paul called out MVP, and so we reached out to Paul and said, ‘hey, do you want to fight before September?’ And he said, ‘no, I don’t want to fight before September,’” Coker explained on a recent appearance of The MMA Hour. “He said, ‘I’ll fight MVP, but I’ll fight him at the beginning of the year.’
“So that fight will happen. It’s going to happen in London and it’ll probably be in the first quarter of next year.”
The rivalry between Page and Daley stretches all the way back to last year, when the two former acquaintances began taking potshots at one another through the media. Daley rebuffed several attempts to set up a fight between he and Page, dismissing the notion by stating that the two Englishmen were not on the same level and referring to Page as the Adrien Broner to his own Floyd Mayweather. Daley also labeled Page as the ‘Justin Bieber of MMA’ after Page released an original music video calling out Daley.
Things then escalated even further last month when Daley called out Page in the aftermath of Daley’s Bellator 179 loss to Rory MacDonald. The two ended up getting in a heated scuffle outside of the cage, and Page said afterward that he “lost all respect” for Daley due to the incident.
But now it appears the fight is back on, albeit for next year, and Coker revealed that in the interim, Bellator plans to allow Page to compete in boxing to help keep his skills sharp.
“We have a deal with the local promoter over there,” Coker said.
“We asked [Page], ‘do you want to kickbox or do you want to box?’ He prefers boxing. He wants to get a couple fights in, probably to get ready for Paul. Paul’s got some good hands. So we said, ‘go ahead and go do that,’ just like we did a deal with (boxing promoter) Lou DiBella (to promote some of his boxers in MMA), right?
“So it’s exactly the opposite. It’s like we’re kind of lending out MVP to go box, and then I told him, I said, ‘MVP, if you want to come kickbox or fight MMA before the end of the year after your boxing, you’re more than welcome to. Or if you want to take a couple boxing fights, go ahead and just get ready for this fight at the beginning of next year.”