Michael Page got his revenge, even if it may not have been as definitive as he’d hoped.
Two years after suffering the only loss of his MMA career at the hands of Douglas Lima, Page set off a celebration inside the SSE Arena in London, England by defeating the former Bellator welterweight champion via a razor-thin split decision in the back-and-forth main event of Bellator 267. Judges Eric Colon and Doug Crosby scored the bout 29-28 for Page, both giving the Englishman the first two rounds, while judge Ben Cartlidge was the lone dissenter with a 29-28 score for Lima and a Round 1 and Round 3 edge for the Brazilian.
“I wanted the finish,” Page said. “My man is a tough man. I understand why he’s been a champion three times. Even when I hit him with those big shots, he just kept coming.”
The decision was a controversial one and ultimately came down to how you scored the first round. Page (20-1) twice made Lima (32-10) stumble to the floor with charging counters inside the opening minutes, although only one exchange landed clean and both could’ve been dismissed as Lima losing his balance. Lima responded by taking Page down for the second half of the opening round and controlling the action from top position.
The second frame was contested solely on the feet with Page scoring the biggest moment of the round when he briefly dropped Lima with a lunging right hand that caught the former Bellator king behind the ear. But Lima once again responded by taking Page down in the third round and riding out the reminder of the fight from top position.
The final striking stats had Lima ahead by a 25-17 clip but with Page having the most significant exchanges, while Lima won the takedown battle 2-0.
Following his sixth straight win since his original loss to Lima, Page took to the mic to call out undefeated Bellator welterweight champion Yaroslav Amosov.
“Now I want that bling,” Page said. “I’ve come over, I’ve got my redemption — now I want that bling. The one and only ‘MVP’ is back.”
In the night’s co-main event, featherweight prospect Leah McCourt (6-1) slowly jabbed Jessica Borga (3-4) into exhaustion to snatch a unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) and continue to work her way up the Bellator women’s 145-pound ladder.
After a competitive opening round that saw Borga frustrate McCourt with a series of kimura attempts from bottom position, McCourt took control and dominated the range throughout the final 10 minutes, repeatedly tagging Borga with a stiff jab and straight punches as she came inside to the tune of a 74-25 striking advantage. A 29-year-old who fights out of SBG Charlestown under Conor McGregor’s longtime striking coach Owen Roddy, McCourt remains a perfect 5-0 under the Bellator umbrella.
Elsewhere on the night, a featherweight bout between UFC veteran Robert Whiteford (16-4, 1 NC) and Andrew Fisher (18-8-1, NC) ended in an anticlimactic no contest after three unintentional eye pokes from Whiteford forced doctors to call off the fight midway through the second round.
The 38-year-old Whiteford was coming off a two-year layoff since his last Bellator outing and the opening round reflected it as both men fought tentatively and offense was sparse. The second frame was no different, but ultimately a third accidental eye poke from Whiteford brought the proceedings to a halt before any action could heat up at 2:50 of Round 2.
One of England’s most promising light heavyweight prospects put on show Friday night as 25-year-old Luke Trainer (5-0) used a brutal elbow from the clinch to preserve his undefeated record and score a second-round knockout of Yannick Bahati (9-6).
After being rocked early in the bout, Trainer stormed back with a barrage of rangy strikes and front kicks from his 6-foot-6 frame before seemingly shattering Bahati’s left orbital bone with the fight-ending strike, which can be seen below. Trainer has now finished both of his Bellator outings in highlight-reel fashion — and he called out the promotion’s latest prospect killer, “Big Tuna” Ben Parrish, for a dance date next.
“Ben Parrish, I’m coming for you,” Trainer roared in his post-fight interview. “Nothing but respect, you’re a savage. But I’m coming for you, sir.”
In the opening bout of the card, local lightweight product Tim Wilde (14-4) overcame a slow start to outpace Yves Landu (16-9) over the final two rounds and win a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) in his return from a two-year layoff.
Wilde used a steady diet of low kicks and long punches to win the striking battle by a 58-22 margin and defended all but three of Landu’s 12 takedown attempts. With the win, the 34-year-old Englishman pushed his record in the Bellator cage to 2-1 in three appearances.
Check out the final 1️⃣0️⃣ seconds of round 3️⃣ between @DadyNnio and @TimWildeMMA.— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) October 1, 2021
How did you score the first bout of the #Bellator267 main card tonight?
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- Michael Page def. Douglas Lima via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Leah McCourt def. Jessica Borga via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Robert Whiteford vs. Andrew Fisher ruled a no contest due to unintentional eye pokes at 2:50 of Round 2
- Luke Trainer def. Yannick Bahati via TKO (strikes) at 2:50 of Round 2
- Tim Wilde def. Yves Landu via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Lewis Long def. Michael Dubois via submission (rear-naked choke) at :41 of Round 1
- Davy Gallon def. Kane Mousah via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
- Elina Kallionidou def. Petra Castkova via submission (heel hook) at 2:07 of Round 1
- Jack Grant def. Nathan Jones via TKO (punches) at 2:16 of Round 1
- Fabacary Diatta def. Nathan Rose via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Chiara Penco def. Katharina Dalisda via submission (armbar) at 2:45 of Round 1
- Khurshed Kakhorov def. Jair Junior via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)