Bellator welterweight contender and equality activist Michael ‘Venom’ Page hailed British football’s social media boycott in a protest against online hatred.
MVP does not necessarily believe that this will have a significant impact on the economy of social media companies and thus impose immediate policy changes, but considers it a positive step in keeping the issue of racism global and discrimination in the foreground.
“It’s weird,” Page said. Sky Sports, in preparation for his next fight with Derek Anderson. “I’m just glad people are continuing the conversation and are happy to have conversations about it. And I’m happy that large organizations are happy to make those kinds of decisions to at least put it on everyone’s mind.
“I think people are starting to understand, as slowly as it has been. People are getting there slowly and understanding the importance of this (curbing hate speech).”
The London fighter, however, believes it is vital that the ball continues to roll towards a less hateful society beyond the boycott. For him, as part of this process, it is important that young people become aware of how they can influence the direction of the journey by getting involved in a political debate and having a say in a democracy.
“We still have a long way to go, I think. But we are getting there,” he added. “For me the last couple of years and what has happened has shown me how important it is for everyone to get involved in politics. I have always said, ‘I don’t. not interested in politics, I just want to do my own thing. ‘ But politics is in absolutely everything we do and affects everything we do.
“I try to do things in the background so that the younger generation understands how important this is and how it will affect their lives. It has become really important to me over the past two years.
Page’s personal focus in the immediate future turns to his next fight against Californian Derek Anderson (17-3). It is a confrontation that has already been scheduled twice by the Bellator matchmakers, to be canceled.
“I feel like he was an unlucky charm because that never happened to me, twice and he never fought with Paul Daley so I thought he was bringing bad voodoo! But, I hope the third time is a charm and we go in there and do it, ”he said.
“He’s a very tough opponent, very balanced, comfortable everywhere. He doesn’t seem to care who is standing in front of him. He has this disrespect for people, in a good way. Lots of respect for people. him, he’s definitely a tough fighter. “
While the pandemic and lockdown have posed challenges for all professional athletes, Covid-19 has materially affected the MVP’s approach to combat. Known for his spectacular kickboxing skills, he didn’t dazzle in his only pandemic outing to date – a unanimous decision that trumps Ross Houston – but he believes the Covid-19 clean-up protocols meant that ‘he couldn’t get the traction needed to launch his kicks:
“My gym was classified as an elite gym so I was able to train through the pandemic which was my saving grace and I already had the fight in Paris. But because they do all the extra cleaning of the canvases. , it’s very slippery, so for someone with my fighting style, it plays a big part, so I really had to adapt.
“I noticed in the last Bellator that almost everyone who threw a kick slipped, so I guess they still do. So we made our canvas in the gym very slippery and I had to find a way to still do what I do, ice skating! “
Despite having the web to face on an opponent at Anderson, who seeks a fourth straight victory, Page is confident he will move up to 19-1 on May 7 in Connecticut and stay on track for a title tilt. .
“I am one hundred percent confident,” he says. “The only thing that worries me is the canvas. But we’ve done things to adjust, so it’s not ideal, I’d rather be able to be the best of me, but I’ll find out and we’ll do that. market.”
Placed second in the recent Bellator rankings, a victory for Page would be a big step towards another showdown with current champion Douglas Lima – or undefeated Ukrainian Yaroslav Amosov, who challenges Lima in June.