The Bellator 292 main card on Friday at SAP Center in San Jose, California opening fight features a battle between two standout finishers at 170 pounds: No. 2 welterweight contender Michael Page (20-2) and No. 5 ranked Goiti Yamauchi (28-5).
The interim welterweight title fight between “MVP” and Logan Storley at Bellator 281 ended in a split decision for Storley, and “MVP” believes that a victory over submission expert Yamauchi will be sufficient for another shot at the belt. Page is aware that there is one opponent in front of him in the standings.
Page said to MMA Junkie Radio, “100 percent, for me it’s a case of title fight. The next in line and I kind of know that is Jason Jackson, simply because there were talks of me and him fighting, and the reason why it didn’t land is because he genuinely believes he’s next in line. So, there obviously was a conversation that happened that made him feel that, and he’s like, ‘If I’m next in line, I prefer to wait’ instead of risk having to fight and potentially not succeed in that fight and getting pushed further back away from the title fight, which is why this fight ended up landing. I think he’s next and I’m definitely the one after. So, that’s 100 percent what it does.”
In the event that a championship shot doesn’t come his way in the near future, Page is ready to return to MMA or bare-knuckle boxing, where he last competed and lost to UFC veteran Mike Perry at BKFC 27 in August.
Page remarked, “It potentially could be a long time so it just depends on when things are gonna happen,” “So, potentially I’ll just do another one. I don’t care that much. I’ll just do another one to stay active, stay fresh, but I still just want to be ready to jump in and go.”
With just a 3-0 record when he joined the Bellator roster in March 2013, Michael Page went on to win his next 11 fights to go to 14-0 before facing former multiple-time welterweight champion Douglas Lima. After being knocked out in that fight, he went on to win his following six fights in a row, finally exacting revenge on Lima in the sixth of those victories.
With 15 victories (12 by knockout, 3 by submission) and a record of 20-1 as a pro, Page was now vying with Logan Storley for the interim Bellator welterweight title in order to determine who would face undisputed champion Yaroslav Amosov. Storley was given the highly contentious split decision victory after five rounds. Since then, Page has only competed once, losing to UFC veteran Mike Perry in his BKFC debut by unanimous decision.
Goiti Yamauchi, who was the Iron FC featherweight champion and had a 14-1 record, joined Bellator in 2013.
Since then, he has suffered just four defeats, most recently in April 2021 against UFC veteran Dan Moret (SD), who defeated Will Martinez (UD), Bubba Jenkins, a former lightweight champion, and Michael Chandler (UD).
He has won three straight fights nonetheless, and of his 14 victories in the promotion, 12 have come by way of finishes. In 33 fights, he has only achieved three knockout wins, although two of those victories have come in his last three fights.
Yamauchi’s grappling has always been at a very high level, and his striking has quickly become dangerous. He is one of those talents whose results you can depend on to be consistent.
As is common knowledge, Michael Page is an expert striker who has won medals in a number of semi-contact kickboxing competitions. His most notable victories include a silver medal at the World Combat Games and gold and silver medals at the WAKO World Championships. Moreover, he has a pro kickboxing record of 1-0 and a boxing record of 2-0.
On the other side, Goiti Yamauchi, a black belt in BJJ, went 5-0 in amateur boxing and 7-0 in kickboxing before starting his MMA career. In addition, he has won a staggering 21 of his 28 MMA fights by submission.
Who will prevail in this thrilling welterweight match at Bellator 292 this weekend?