“The Phenom” Lima dismantled Page via second-round knockout in May 2019, five months before he reclaimed the Bellator title. He is now preparing to defend it once more against Yaroslav Amosov in the main event of Friday’s Bellator 260 in Uncasville, Conn.
Page has been calling for a rematch against the only man to ever beat in MMA for years, and Lima gives him a piece of advice on how to really earn it.
“Man, I just wanted him to challenge someone closer to the belt,” Lima said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “Of course, [Page won] five fights, four knockouts, he’s doing well, but, well, he has to fight someone at a higher level. He should call out [Lorenz] Larkin, [Andrey] Koreshkov, someone who has already fought for the belt or has been champion.
“To me, if I really were to say, he’s hand-picking his opponents, right? He’s choosing who he wants [to fight]. He says he wants the fight [against me], he talks a lot saying I’m running and whatnot [laughs]. Come on, my friend, so you think they offered me the fight and I said no?”
Page won five in a row since his defeat to Lima in 2019. “Venom” stopped longtime Bellator veteran Derek Anderson in one round in his most recent appearance, but the list of opponents also includes Richard Kiely, Gianni Melillo, Shinsho Anzai and Ross Houston.
“I won my belt and went after another one, [Gegard] Mousasi’s,” Lima said. “I want big fights, I want to fight guys that will elevate my name even more. If it’s him, ok. If not, he has to fight someone that gets him to the belt. I think that’s up to him. If they offer me the fight I’ll take it right away, no problem. I’m here to fight. I’m the champion and I won’t pick and choose opponents. That’s not something a champion does. We’ll fight again one day.”
Lima reinforces it’s up to Page to face tougher competition inside the circular cage, and doesn’t know if Bellator is helping “Venom” take an “easier” path by selecting his opposition carefully. Either way, Lima said, that won’t help his case.
“When I lost my belt the first time, brother, I asked what’s the fight that would take me back to the belt,” he said. “I’m not here to pick opponents, I want to be champion. I want to fight for the belt. That’s what I’m here for, to be champion. If I were him, I’d look at the guys that would take me to the belt.”
In a recent interview for Michael Bisping’s podcast, Page discussed his desire to rematch Lima and one day join the UFC. Lima believes he would “go far” in the octagon, and jokes that not having him on Page’s way toward the title would definitely help his case.
“I think he would well there, especially because of his fighting style, a style that people like, showboating, dancing and whatnot,” Lima said. “I think he would do definitely well there, but that also depends on the opponents, right? If they give him the right guy to grow or they give him guys that doesn’t favor his style and give him more difficulties.”