What really happened with Michael “Venom” Page at Bellator 248

This past weekend, Bellator 248 made history as the first major MMA event in France after it’s legalization earlier this year. One of the headliners for the promotion was the dynamic Michael “Venom” Page (18-1).

Page was set to take on the previously unbeaten Ross Houston (8-1, 1 NC) in the main event of Bellator 248. MVP was coming off of three consecutive knockout finishes, and he was looking for another statement win this past Saturday.

Page has been trying to get a rematch with Bellator‘s welterweight champion Douglas Lima. Lima knocked out Page back at Bellator 221 which is still MVP’s only professional loss. Given the magnitude of the event and Page’s popularity, a lot of eyes were on Bellator 248.

While there was very high expectations, the main event completely failed to deliver. The MMA community was expecting a back and forth war with one man eventually going down. Instead, what they got was a grinding decision for Michael Page. A flop of a main event for the promotion.

After the fight was over, Page made the claim that the Bellator mat was extremely slippery. For that reason, he couldn’t execute his game plan. Meanwhile, Scott Coker came out and said that he believed MVP’s off night was due to the fact that he’s been inactive this year.

What really happened at Bellator 248

I don’t want to come across as a hater, but I find the slippery surface excuse to be a little far fetched. There were no complaints from other fighters when it came to the Bellator fighting surface on Saturday night. Everyone else seemed to perform just fine.

It also certainly didn’t look like Page was having trouble keeping his footing. However, just because he didn’t visibly slip a ton doesn’t mean he didn’t feel stable. He very well might have felt that the mat wasn’t sturdy enough for his flashy techniques.

However, I believe that Bellator President Scott Coker was more on point with his assessment. To me, Page just appeared to be a little off overall. It looked like his timing wasn’t completely there and he just didn’t seem comfortable inside the cage.

I think the fact that Houston was a very dangerous opponent didn’t help things. I think the fact that Page didn’t feel comfortable, he was facing a dangerous opponent, and the fact that it was his first fight of 2020 led to the lackluster Bellator 248 performance.

No matter how you slice it, the main event really failed the promotion in a big way. Bellator had the chance to make a big statement being the first to host an event in France, but the promotion failed to deliver an entertaining main event.

Results and Takeaways from Bellator’s first event in France

Yesterday, Bellator became the first major MMA promotion to host an event in France. MMA was just legalized in France early in 2020, but the pandemic through a wrench in the plans of all promotions who wanted to host events there.

After resuming action a couple of months ago, Bellator made it a priority to host an event in Paris. They were able to work out the logistics and put on some pretty good fights yesterday. The Bellator action came in waves.

The first wave of action came in the form of Bellator 248. That event was headlined by the catchweight matchup between Michael “Venom” Page (18-1) and Ross Houston (8-1, 1 NC). Page was looking to make a statement to try to get a rematch with Bellator champion, Douglas Lima.

The second wave of action featured the homecoming for French heavyweight, Cheick Kongo (30-11-2, 1 NC). Kongo fought in a rematch against Tim Johnson (15-6) who was looking to avenge his knockout loss to Kongo which happened back in 2018.

Bellator 248 Results & Takeaways

The first headliner featured a rather lackluster main event for Bellator. While there seemed to be so much promise in the MVP fight against Ross Houston, there was a lack of action. The first round started out really well for Houston.

Houston came right out and was able to land an early takedown. He was able to control Page for the majority of the first. The second round saw Page land a takedown of his own. He rode out the round landing a few shots from the top, but seemed content with just holding control.

In the final round, both men threw strikes from the outside. Neither fighter landed anything significant, but Page landed the majority of the shots. In the end, the first Bellator main event was given to Page. Following the win, I wouldn’t be shocked if Page got a rematch with Douglas Lima after winning his fourth in a row.

The second Bellator main event featured the heavyweight clash between Kongo and Johnson. Johnson was going to need to use his grappling to win the fight, and that is exactly what he did. In the first, he caught a Kongo kick and took the Frenchman down and controlled him.

The second round was much better for Kongo. He was able to use the clinch to land some good shots, but nothing serious landed. The final round saw a ton of clinch work, but Johnson held control for most of the round. Two of the judges gave the fight to Johnson earning him the split decision.

It was an exciting day for Bellator, but unfortunately the action failed to live up to the hype. Johnson won his third fight in a row this year and might be close to getting a Bellator heavyweight title match. Page is likely going to get a welterweight title fight after winning his fourth in a row.

Cheick Kongo looking to come up big in home debut at Bellator 248

Today, Bellator will make history. They will be the first major MMA promotion to host an event in France. Arguably the biggest name on the card is one of the most famous MMA fighters to ever come from France in Cheick Kongo (30-10-2, 1 NC).

Kongo will be taking on Tim Johnson (14-6) at Bellator 248 in Paris. The two men fought about two years ago at Bellator 208. That night, Kongo knocked out Johnson in the first round of their heavyweight contest.

Kongo is looking to get back on track in this fight. Prior to his title fight against Ryan Bader at Bellator 226, Kongo had won eight consecutive fights inside the Bellator cage. That warranted him a title shot, but the shot was cut short after an accidental eye poked stopped the action in the first round.

Kongo believed that he deserved an immediate rematch with Ryan Bader given the way the first fight ended. However, Bellator had other plans and booked Kongo against Johnson. Tim Johnson has had a fantastic year in 2020.

After suffering back to back knockout losses, Johnson has won two consecutive fights by knockout. He’s knocked out Matt Mitrione and top Bellator prospect, Tyrell Fortune. This is a big fight if he has championship aspirations.

Bellator 248 Prediction

For Johnson to be successful in the rematch, he’s going to have to grapple with Kongo. He doesn’t want to stand at range and trade with the French striker. That will be a ticket to a quick exit for Johnson. I expect Johnson to come out aggressive looking to tire Kongo.

When it comes to these two, I just believe that they are on different levels. Despite being 44, Kongo looked sensational leading up to that title match against Ryan Bader. I’m expecting Kongo to come out looking very good in Bellator‘s Paris debut.

Expect some early grappling, but I think eventually Kongo is going to be able to catch Johnson with something big. I think it’ll actually come relatively early with Kongo getting the finish in the first. Expect him to call out Ryan Bader once the fight is over.

Prediction: Cheick Kongo by KO – Round 1

Bellator 248 Main Event Preview: Michael “Venom” Page – Ross Houston

Bellator returns tomorrow night for a historic event. They will be the first major MMA promotion to host an MMA event in France. In the headliner there’s a solid welterweight contest between Michael “Venom” Page (17-1) and Ross Houston (8-0, 1 NC).

MVP will be entering the Bellator cage on a three fight winning streak. All three of those wins have come by knockout within the first two rounds. Those wins are following the lone loss of his professional career which came back at Bellator 221.

That night, MVP hurt Douglas Lima and charged after him. After getting taken off his feet from a leg kick, Page was knocked out cold on the way up by Lima. It was a devastating finish which derailed the Bellator championship aspirations from MVP.

Since that loss, Page has been on a roll. His last three opponents have not shown him much of a challenge. He’s facing a top prospect in this next contest who will come into his Bellator debut with an undefeated record.

Ross Houston will carry a perfect professional record into his Bellator debut. A native of Scotland, Houston has spent the majority of his career thus far inside the Cage Warriors cage. Now, he will make the jump to one of the biggest promotions in the world.

Bellator 248 Main Event Prediction

Ross Houston has a very solid overall game for those who have not seem him in action. He’s got very good hands, and he has a lot of decent kicks. However, he really shines when the fight is taken to the ground. Houston possesses really good submission skills.

For MVP, you know the drill if you’ve watched him fight. Page has very good standup skills and anytime he’s in the Bellator cage, he’s likely going to have the advantage on the feet. This fight is not an exception.

For Houston to win this fight, he’s going to have to get Page to the ground. He’s going to have to use grappling to get by him. However, I believe that MVP is just too good and slick for Houston at this stage. I think he’s going to catch Houston with something big in the second round.

Prediction: Michael Page by TKO – Round 2