We talk to Michael Page about 720 kicks, being cocky and not wanting to be like Anderson Silva

Michael Page is flashier than the Flash while walking down the red carpet, camera’s lighting the path. His mere existence in the combat world has produced jaw-dropping highlight reels from here to his home base in the UK. I was a doubter, a hater by 2014 standards, of Michael Page and his borderline unsportsman-like ways in the cage, but after talking to him, he seems like a normal chap who turns on a switch when he gets in the cage. 

A switch that turns him into a goddamn superhero.
Ahead of his Bellator PPV debut, we were able to track down Michael Page and talk to him about his flashy style, his cockiness and what he’s been up to out of the cage for the last year.

It’s been over a year since your last fight, what’ve you been up to?
It’s been a bad year for injuries, but mostly just preparation for fights that have put me out. I just couldn’t get over these little injuries that put me on the shelf preparing for the fight.

Is it your style that’s leading to injuries or general training. 
It’s just the general training. It’s weird, it always happens at random times, but never when I’m doing anything crazy, usually simple. I pulled one of my ribs just doing a technical wrestlign move and twisted incorrectly out of it.

I’ve done that to my rib as well and it’s the worst. Do you think you’re easing yourself into your career? The talent you’re fighting isn’t at your level, do you agree? You’re 5-0 but you’re destroying everyone.
Yeah, well you have to remember I’m just a baby in this sport in my experience in MMA. I wouldn’t want to jump into the deep end just yet, because I don’t want to lose to a fighter based on my inexperience if you know what I mean? I’m just trying to build myself up and learn as much as I can before I fight a big name.

So what motivates you to be the type of fighter you are?
It’s not that something motivates me, it’s just the style I’ve created over the years coming from my sport of freestyle kickboxing. When I said to myself that if I came over and it didn’t work then I’ll try something else, but it’s worked thus far.

Let’s go back to a young Michael Page, 10-15 years ago. Who were you looking up to in order to create this style?
I was watching mostly kickboxing, my style. I get inspiration from EVERYTHING. I may be at home watching a Jackie Chan movie, and he does something I want to try, or I’m watching a Bruce Lee movie or Jet Lee or some random capoeira. I take inspiration from everywhere. I’m willing to try everything to see if it works.

What specific fighters do you look up to in general?
I would say in general to be honest it would be my family. My Dad, a martial artist from England has taught me a lot and obviously guys I’ve trained with. They aren’t big names in the kickboxing or any industry, because my kickboxing style isn’t that big. But these guys are great within that industry.

Many compare you to Anderson Silva, do you think that’s fair?
I consider it a massive complement, but it doesn’t translate to me. I get why people come to that comparison, but I don’t want to be anything like him, I want to be me. I want people to see the difference. He’s absolutely amazing so when someone compare me to him, that’s a complement, but it’s not something I wanted to achieve.

The 720 degree kick that you pulled off. How long did you train for that?
I didn’t actually! I had a guy teaching me how to do it in freestyle form. Some of these guys are absolutely amazing. This Canadian guy actually. I asked him how he did it, and he explained it and about an hour later I did it. I actually then did it in a competition later and that’s what you see online. During the match I thought to myself that I had a feeling I could land it and so I just threw it. Ever since then you see my name it’s kind of associated with it.

Do you think you could attempt that in MMA?
I have. Not on camera. In the gym it’s been done before and can be done again. You’ll probably see it. Look out for it.

Sounds like a move that would only be suited for PPV if you know what I mean.
Yes! Haha!

The one knock on you, since you are such an incredible fighter, is that get you in there with a decent wrestler and you’re in trouble. How is your ground game coming along?
Yes. And again I can understand because no one’s ever seen me work that part. In my opinion, it’s going to come but I put someone else in a position to not put me there in a bad position, that’s how it goes. You don’t always show what you can do, and you don’t show what you can do because it doesn’t come, that’s part of the game. I can lose via stand up, but that’s not how to solve the Michael Page problem because I can wrestle and I can grapple and I can go on the ground.

You trained with Lee Murray?
I haven’t trained with him, we’re from the same gym but when I got there he wasn’t there anymore.

Once again a young Michael Page now looking at you at 27-years-old, on a Bellator PPV, doing incredible things. You’re viral. Is this what you’ve always wanted and expected?
Yes but it’s quick. I think it was after my second fight, I was blown away by the massive industry regarding MMA. I knew I was gonna get big and that was my goal, but I never thought this quick.

You sound like quite a the gentleman as I’m here talking to you, but in the cage you’re completely different. Cocky. Too cocky, some say. Are you cocky? Does something flip on as you enter the cage?
Yeah, yeah absolutely. I think all fighters or performers have that. You see it with musicians and other sports where when you’re speaking to them, they’re a completely different person than when they’re in performance mode. Everyone’s got that button and I have the same thing. I’m 100% a showman and I enjoy putting on a show and I enjoy what I do, the fighting. When I go in there I’m going to finish my opponent and put on a show.

Last question: Are you human?
Last time I checked, yeah, I was human. But I do some extraterrestrial things.