Page Steals Show at Bellator 158 w/ Skull-Fracturing Win
10-time finisher Michael “Venom” Page (now 11-0) was not the main event heading into London’s Bellator 158,but he sure was considered that after. If one of the criticisms of Bellator in that past has been not highlighting homegrown talent, the headlines Page has since generated might change that.
The capoeira and almost dance-based striker faced Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos, who is now most notably known for being the ex-husband of UFC/Invicta FC’s Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino. Although Santos was coming off of a loss, he was arguably the biggest test for Page with a now 21-18 record and having made his MMA debut in 1997.
The Brit and Brazilian maneuver on the bloodstained canvas from finishes earlier in the night. Page lands maybe three to four times in the first flurry. “MVP” has range on his side along with speed as a kick from Santos does nothing. Page lands with a right, although it doesn’t look like he got all of it. He seems to fall forward, but wraps up Santos for a takedown to stay on offense.
The two men are back up in seconds. Page lands his first flying knee but is the underhooked with his back to the cage. Santos gets him down twice after that. The showman counters by putting the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt in a kneebar. Santos gets top mount in half guard before moving to side-control.
Commentator Sean Grande notes that Santos previously talked about how none of Page’s wins have been come behind. Then Round 2 happened.
The movement from Page remains what it always has been: leaning in, encroaching inch by inch in the often viewed as disrespectful manner of hands down. Two minutes of the round fly by with biting right jabs from the hometown favorite. Santos is unfazed by a spinning back kick, but the aforementioned movement is keeping his striking numbers low.
With 1:30 left to go before the break, a liver kick bring the fight into the danger zone for Santos. Longtime fans know that liver shots often end fights. Santos is still up, but is in a bad way. Under a minute is left now.
When the contest gets to just about 30 seconds left in the round, the titular knee puts Santos in an emergency room.
Michael Page def. Evangelista Santos via KO at 4:31 of Round 2
After one of the most disgustingly terrifying injuries in MMA, Justino posted the following message (sic) and photo on Instagram:
“Fight fans Please say a prayer for my Ex husband Cyborg Santos. Many of you watched him fight on Spike TV this weekend when he suffered this injury while fighting in London. Cyborg is still in the hospital in the UK, and they are not sure when he will be able to fly again. He has not had surgery yet and their is worry the brain can continue to swell causing more damage. Click The link In My bio to donate to his #GoFundMe and support him and his family at this time. Thank you God for your protecion, The dr said this very Easily could have been life threatening.”
“Cyborg” has had surgery at this point. Justino has since updated MMAFighting.com on Santos’ health earlier today.
“I spoke with him yesterday. He no have any problems. He talks normal and he feels the pain a little bit but he’s got medicine and they give him pills and he’s okay. He’s okay. Just you can see his head is not okay but he’s so funny because he says, “aw I can fight in three months!” I said, “no man, you cannot fight in three months!”
Some have speculated that while the injury is no longer a danger to his life, it could bring an end to his career. Bellator MMA has since announced that they will be covering all of Santos’ medical bills and will be paying him what would have been his win bonus. According to MMAFighting’s Marc Raimondi on The MMA Hour, the GoFundMe account will be to cover living expenses during this time.
Page has tweeted out his well-wishes along with a link to the account.