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Michael Page discusses new Bellator deal, rivalry with Paul Daley

Michael Page is likely to face fellow U.K. native Paul Daley in Bellator's welterweight grand prix. Williams Paul/Icon Sportswire

Michael Page signed a new long-term deal with Bellator and is on the verge of fighting Paul Daley in the first round of the promotion's welterweight grand prix. In short, he's a happy man.

Page (13-0) says the new agreement won't preclude him from continuing his boxing career, a sport in which he currently holds a 2-0 professional record.

"The contract is for six fights and 100 percent I am still able to box," Page told ESPN. "It will still be under the same circumstances, as in I still have to get permission cleared from Bellator, which is fine and understandable, especially with the tournament coming up."

The London Shootfighters welterweight had no intention of seeing out his old contract to test free agency. He had particular praise for consultant Mike Kogan, who has been instrumental for Bellator as an executive in a behind-the-scenes role.

"I knew after my fight with (David Rickels) (Bellator) would want to talk about re-signing," Page said. "I knew especially after the show that I put on, those conversations were going to come up. In all fairness, I have to give a massive shout to Mike Kogan. Without him being involved, I don't think we would have got to a deal at all.

"I've started to work with him a bit more, and it's just made things a lot easier to deal with. He's very direct. There's no bulls---. He's straight to the point. Whether you like it or you don't, he's just very clear, and I really appreciate that kind of relationship."

It's fair to say Bellator likes being in the Michael "Venom" Page business, and the feeling is mutual. Page appreciates the opportunities afforded in the promotion to express his personality both in and out of the cage.

"I call Bellator home for a reason," Page explained. "They give people personality, which I feel lacks in many other shows. If I wasn't able to get over some of the things I was unhappy with Bellator, then I would have been forced to move but not because I wanted to. I didn't really care to see what my market value is if what I call my home is happy to pay for it. I'm happy where I am and don't need to change it.

"The type of fighter I am, I don't need to be at any specific show to create noise. I can do that from wherever I am. I was happy at Bellator and now I'm even happier with my new contract."

With a new deal in place and Page a confirmed participant in the upcoming Bellator welterweight grand prix, there's only one fight that makes sense for him: Paul Daley (40-16-2).

"I said from the start when I spoke to Bellator -- I'm down for the tournament but I want him first round," Page said. "It's strictly personal, everybody knows it. I want him in the first round because I don't believe he would make it to the final anyway. I don't think he'd make it past the first round regardless of who he fights, but I prefer to be the one that takes him out of the tournament in the first round."

"I'm just hoping this gets confirmed finally and I get to break his face," Page added. "Until the contract is signed, I just don't trust him. He's been making all types of excuses and reasons not to sign this contract. In my head, I'm hoping November and I'm hoping it's in the U.K."

Page admits he was losing interest in the Daley fight, having attempted to make it happen on a number of occasions over the past few years, and although it's not signed just yet, it might be the final opportunity to make it happen.

"The only reason this is being reignited is because of the tournament," Page said. "I'm tired of this guy just being a b---- about things but still mentioning my name. How many times has he mentioned my name and nothing happened? I've OK'd it every single time the contract came across my table.

"I've lost that fire. I still want to punch him in the face, but I've lost that fire to chase it. I'm still going to wind him up online because I heard he's starting to b---- out and not sign again. Now he's in the tournament, I just need to know he's fighting me. I don't need to know about anything else. If this doesn't happen then he's definitely not worth my time."

It's fair to say a Page vs. Daley fight would arguably be the biggest fight in UK MMA history, giving Bellator a rare chance to market and promote a blockbuster fight over into the mainstream in a region they have big plans for in the future.

"How many fights can you name, where it's two U.K. fighters that can ever generate this amount of noise and we haven't even stepped in the cage together?" Page said. "Right now, this could be the biggest fight the U.K. has ever promoted in MMA, if promoted right, which I feel Bellator do need to step up a little bit. They don't have the same type of contacts in the U.K. but this is worth making those contacts to really make sure they create a massive wave."

There's no lack of confidence from Page, and he has a vision of how things will end by the time this welterweight grand prix is a wrap.

"I'm going to dominate this tournament," Page said. "I'm going to be the welterweight champion and at the end of it, the tournament champion."