This is widely considered the biggest grudge match in UK MMA history, between two of England’s best welterweights. We have long time welterweight staple who’s really fought everywhere in Paul “Semtex” Daley, versus the always dangerous and flashy Michael “Venom” Page. Both of these men are vicious knockout artists, I think it may be safe to predict that someone gets knocked out in this fight.
Both of these men got their start in kickboxing. Michael Page was a 10-time Kickboxing World Champion, as well as being crowned British Kickboxing Champion over 25 times. He is about as skilled of a point sparring fighter as you’ll ever see, and was scouted and offered a chance to train and qualify for the Olympics, but turned the offer down in order to pursue an MMA career. It is unknown what his official kickboxing record from all of those tournaments is, as he only holds a 1-0 record in full-contact professional kickboxing and 2-0 in professional boxing.
His kickboxing credentials include World Combat Games (2010 Silver Medalist), W.A.K.O. World Championships (2007 Gold, 2009 Silver), W.A.K.O. Irish Open (2008 Silver, 2009 Silver, 2011 Silver), W.A.K.O. Austrian Classics World Cup (2008 Gold, 2x 2009 Gold), and WKA World Championships (2009 Bronze, 2009 Gold); all competitions either semi-contact or light-contact. I’d say those are quite the credentials, quite a long and impressive resume. Also 13-0 in professional MMA to go along with it, eight wins by knockout, three submissions, and two decisions. He also holds a 5th-degree black belt in Kickboxing. Many say Page hasn’t fought anyone, he’ll be exposed as soon as he fights a legit fighter; my argument is, Cyborg Santos is a legit fighter, David Rickels is a legit fighter, Nah-Shon Burrell is a legit fighter, they’re just not the elite of the elite, but they’re still very dangerous guys in their own right.
As for Paul Daley, he also has a kickboxing background and is 21-3 in full contact kickboxing with 14 knockouts. He has been around a long time and fought the who’s who of the best welterweights in the world, from fighting for both the Cage Warriors Welterweight Championship and the Cage Rage British Welterweight Championship in his eighth and ninth professional MMA fights, both ending in draws, to winning the Cage Rage British Welterweight Championship and defending it three times, to winning the FX3 Welterweight Championship, to challenging Jake Shields for the EliteXC Welterweight Championship, to fighting Josh Koscheck for the number one contender spot in the UFC’s welterweight division, to winning a fight scheduled for the BAMMA Welterweight Championship, but missed weight; to challenging Nick Diaz for the Strikeforce Welterweight Championship, to fighting others like Rory MacDonald, Douglas Lima, Jon Fitch, Tyron Woodley, picking up wins over Martin Kampmann, Lorenz Larkin, Jorge Masvidal, Duane Ludwig, Andre Santos, and many more.
Daley’s knockout ratio is insane, he’s 40-16-2, winning 32 of his 40 MMA wins via knockout, mostly KO’s, and eight decisions, zero submissions. It’s also notable to mention the only purely stand up fight he has ever lost was against Nick Diaz, and he almost won that fight by knockout. Both of these men also hold a Knockout of the Year award, Daley’s in 2010, and Page in 2016. Many speculate and wonder why the biggest grudge match in UK MMA history will be hosted in Connecticut, and it’s a fair question, but I suppose that’s how the bosses wanted it. I am so thankful this fight is five rounds, though it’s doubtful it’ll go that long.
As far as their attributes go, they’re built quite differently. While Semtex is one of the most vicious one-punch knockout artists ever in MMA, let alone the welterweight division, MVP is generally more crafty and creative with his finishes, without relying on brute power. This is the first real test for MVP, Daley has been there and done that throughout a massive number or promotions. Daley is 5′ 9” with a 74” reach, and Page is 6′ 3” with a 77” reach. Will Daley be able to get on the inside and uncork those bombs he has, will Page pick him apart from the outside until the knockout comes, or pick him apart from the outside for five rounds? I can’t wait to find out, this is definitely a fight worth watching!