Bellator 216: MVP vs. Daley took place Feb. 16 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. Michael Page (14-0) squared off against Paul Daley (40-17-2) in a long-anticipated showdown in the night’s main event and part of the Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix, which aired live on DAZN.
For more on Page vs. Daley check out the play-by-play, courtesy of MMA Fighting’s Alexander K. Lee.
Round 1: Kevin MacDonald is the referee for tonight’s main event. Page with a side stance, looking extremely loose and much, much taller than Daley. He’s circling, just looking at Daley circling along the edge of the cage. Neither man striking yet. Lots of feinting on Page’s part, Daley remaining patient. Staring contest through half a round. Side kick to the body lands solid and pushes Daley back against the fence. Page’s hands are completely down and he’s just continuing to stalk as the crowd grows restless. Front kick by Page to Daley’s body scores. With about 90 seconds remaining, Daley finally throws a strike, a leg kick that catches air. Lunging jab by Page misses. Low kick by Page, then he closes the round with a Superman punch attempt. Very little to score in round one.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Page.
Round 2: Little action through the first minute, but Page lands a stepping front kick to the face out of nowhere and that gets Daley’s attention. He briefly comes forward before letting Page have the center of the cage again. Long distance shot attempt by Daley and Page is out of there. Daley continues his pursuit and goes for a takedown off of a punch to the body. Page working to get underhooks and stay upright against the cage. Trip attempt by Daley, but Page blocks it. Page gets free. Another shot by Daley with no setup, but he gets it. He’s sitting on Page’s legs with Page’s back on the fence. Daley with a smattering of ground-and-pound. They get back up and Daley connects with a punch on the standup, he’s chasing Page as the round comes to a close.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Daley. Overall 19-19.
Round 3: Page misses on a hook kick, but backs Daley up with a straight right. Daley coming forward much more in this round. A feint by Daley baits a jumping knee attempt by Page. Page feints another jumping knee. Much more activity in this round so far. Right hand over the top smacks Daley’s head. Daley advancing but hardly punching. Page sprawls as Daley shoots for another takedown. They settle into a clinch against the fence, Page reverses position looking to separate, but Daley explodes and trips Page down landing in half guard. Page transitions to full guard. Daley staying heavy. Page throws up a triangle attempt, but Daley just stands up to break it and then goes in with a punch to regain top control. Not much offense either way, though Daley is in top position. Daley postures up and he’s able to land a few big punches. Left hand inside by Daley as Page stands up. Round ends with Daley blocking a Page trip attempt.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Daley. Overall, 29-28 Daley.
Round 4: Page aggressive, pops Daley with a lead right hand. Straight right to the body by Page. Overhand right now by Page. He sprawls to block a takedown, but Daley snatches onto a single leg, turns the corner and he’s back on top once more. Closed guard by Page is keeping Daley from improving position, but Page is also not getting up. They’re back up and Page fires a high kick. It doesn’t land, but Page’s ensuing jumping knee looks like it catches Daley. He throws a second that is blocked. Page is able to get Daley down on the mat. Page in good position to time his punches and he lands cleanly from top position. Elbow by Page. He’s looking to score with short punches, Daley getting his hands up to block the worst of it.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Page. Overall 38-38.
Round 5: They grapple shortly after the bell rings and Daley just powers Page down. He’s unable to settle into Page’s guard and he stands up, but doesn’t back away. He kicks Page’s thigh and then dives into Page’s guard. Page throwing his legs up for a submission attempt, Daley just swims through and he’s sitting in Page’s guard again. Page’s long limbs are giving Daley problems when he’s trying to mount any offense. Hammer fist by Daley and then a couple of good punches land. Three minutes to go and Page has been stuck on his back in this round so far. He establishes a base and gets up with Daley clinging onto him. Page scrambles and takes Daley’s back, sliding right into back position. He threatens with a rear-naked choke, but gives up on it. Punches from back control by Page. Daley trying to stand and Page is locked onto him. Page repeatedly driving the point of his elbow into the side of Daley’s head. They’re back up and it’s Page who gets the closing takedown.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Page. Overall, 48-47 Page.
Official result: Michael Page def. Paul Daley via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)