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Rising UFC star Michael 'Venom' Page talks unconventional style that angers some in fight community

Michael "Venom" Page made his presence known in his UFC debut, defeating Kevin Holland with an unconventional fighting style that he admitted ticks people off.

"Venom" is the perfect nickname for UFC fighter Michael Page when looking at his fighting style. 

Page is like a snake in the octagon – slithering around with technical precision, and before most can react, he is making a quick strike to bewilder his opponent. In some cases, the venom is too strong and the fight ends via knockout

Call it unorthodox, lackadaisical, or even malpractice if you wish, after seeing Page look away from his opponent while seemingly, and sometimes literally, dancing in front of them. "MVP," as he is called, owns a 22-2 career record in MMA, and he is coming off his first career UFC victory earlier this month against Kevin Holland. 


So, while unconventional, Page's fighting style works. 

"I would say unique because I’m willing to just break the mold. To do things that people do on video games and movies and s---," Page said smiling in New York while speaking with Fox News Digital. 

While Page has 13 knockouts in his MMA career, UFC fans may not have heard of him before entering the octagon in Kaseya Center in Miami, where he won by unanimous decision over the veteran Holland. However, his fighting style sparked tons of conversation on social media, something he is used to over the years of fighting on the Bellator circuit. 

When asked if Page's fighting style, which stems from freestyle kickboxing, he smiled before giving an emphatic answer. 

"Oh, yes," he said while laughing. 

In a sport where fundamentals are usually preached to not only win fights, but more importantly, protection, Page's hands are usually down, while his shoulders are shimmying and his feet are moving around. 

He has sparred with numerous UFC fighters over the years, and they all say the same thing when they see that in the octagon. 


"I spar a lot of these guys from the UFC," he said. "I don’t like to name these guys, but there’s a load of guys I’ve sparred and a lot of them are like, ‘Damn, I wouldn’t want to fight you.’ No all of them are my weight. Some of them are two divisions above me, and they’re all like, ‘That’s horrible to deal with.’"

Page has heard it all, too.

"I’d say the funniest thing," Page responded. "He came out afterwards, and he’s like, ‘That’s like chasing a packet of crisps in the wind.’ He said it, and it was quite funny, but he was genuinely like this is annoying."

Page has talked in the past about how his fighting style is one a part of the fighting community hates to see on Fight Night. However, any MMA fighter knows that not everyone is going to love them – that is the beauty of the sport. 

Someone is the hero, but also someone is the villain. As a newbie in the UFC, Page does not mind what role he plays. 

"That’s the interesting thing about my style," he said. "Not only does it frustrates my opponents, it frustrates a lot of people outside, good and bad. It sparks a certain emotion. People watch and they’re like, ‘That’s amazing,’ and other people watch it like, ‘That’s rubbish.’ But again, it becomes a talking point. If it was too obvious that everybody likes you, or everybody hates you – you want people to be conversive. It just ignites a lot in people."

To understand Page's style, you need to understand not just his fighting background, but his family's heritage as well. Freestyle kickboxing is something his entire family – Page is one of nine – is heavily involved with. 

On the road to learning from his father, a kickboxing instructor, and winning 10 world titles in the sport, Page knew he had flare from the start. 

"Even in that world, I had my own flare, my own style and it’s a stylish combat style anyway," Page said. "I kinda added my own variation to it. I love to dance, my own culture, I just put into my style as well. It’s a whirlwind of entertainment."

The culture he spoke of is that of the Caribbean. His father is from Trinidad, and his mother hails from Jamaica. He said he listens to a lot of Soca, an island genre native to Trinidad, among other genres that always kept him dancing. That dance did not stop when he entered a kickboxing ring, or later in life, the octagon. 

Perhaps the biggest misconception about his unconventional style when people see it is that it comes without the hard work.

"I always get that kinda like, ‘Oh, he’s just naturally gifted.’ It’s like, no, I bust my a-- every single day," he said. "Feel like crap every single day. Still have to get back up and go back into the gym with my foot busted and elbow busted, this and that. It’s just not a side we care to promote, I guess, so people don’t see it. But my style makes people genuinely think, ‘Oh no, he just got that.’ 

"It’s been many years of hard work. The actual effort I’ve put in to actually make it look that easy in that style."

At 36 years old now, Page's MMA journey has finally brought him to the world's biggest stage in the sport, and he is already making a clear impression. He is hoping to have two more fights this year, one of which he hopes to be in the United Kingdom. 

No matter the location, Page is ready to bring his fighting style that may upset people, but even they cannot deny how entertaining it is. 

"It’s in that moment where I get to actually enjoy myself because training is not an enjoyable process," Page said about getting to fight after rigorous training. "… That’s the only time I get to enjoy it and be myself, so I’m always going to enjoy it to the max. 

"This is why I’m smiling, this is why I’m dancing, this is why I come across cocky because, for the first time ever, I'm pain-free and just enjoying the fruits of my labor."

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