In an exciting welterweight clash between two British strikers with contrasting styles, Michael Page and Paul Daley look to settle a longstanding feud. As exciting as this matchup is, I can’t understand why it’s taking place in Connecticut – couldn’t they find an arena in London?
As a UK fight fan I don’t mind tuning in at unholy hours to watch unarmed combat, but if I was a normal human being with a regular sleeping pattern and a day job, I’d be pissed off. Nevertheless, here is my breakdown for all the gamblers out there.
With his flamboyant personality and flashy striking style, Michael Page is certainly not an introvert. Coming from a sport karate background, Page deploys a lot of unorthodox techniques. With spinning wheel kicks, axe kicks and flying knees in his arsenal, opponents are never sure which strike is coming next.
Despite his 77-inch reach and 6’3 stature, Page does not stick to an outside striking game as you may imagine. When he attacks, he springs forward like a cobra – usually catching opponents by surprise. He also leaves his hands low, even at close range. This could be a death sentence against a heavy hitter like Paul Daley.
At 31-years-of-age, Page hasn’t faced the highest level of competition. Daley will be a gigantic step up from any of his previous opponents and the fight should answer questions of whether his stye is only viable for crushing cans or if he’s truly a contender.
Page’s fighting style reflects his personality, and Paul Daley is the same in that regard. An unpretentious kickboxer with big power, Daley tends to favor a single shot striking approach and puts steam on everything (“Semtex” is certainly an appropriate nickname). Due to this, he tends to stand flat-footed – which could make him an easy target for his much more agile opponent.
At 5’9, Daley isn’t the biggest welterweight in the world and will be giving up 3 inches of reach. Given Page’s penchant for crashing forward. I don’t think the height and reach discrepancy will matter as much as we may assume.
When Daley loses, he typically gets outwrestled. Even proficient strikers like Rory Macdonald were not prepared to stand with Daley – which is a testament to his power. Page isn’t known as a grappler, so this could give Daley the freedom he needs to unleash on the feet without the threat of a takedown.
While Daley usually ends fights with the right hand, he has power in the left too. Lorenz Larkin got careless in the pocket and ate a huge left hook from “Semtex” which caused the beginning of the end. If Page is his typical showboating self, it only takes one shot for the fight to be over.
Although Daley has an excellent chin, it wouldn’t surprise me if he got finished by a crazy flying knee or head kick. Page seems like the fighter more likely to win a decision.
With that being said, I believe Daley has the superior hands and at some point he’ll get an opportunity to land a bomb on the chin of Page. At underdog odds, I believe the value is with “Semtex”.
Pick: Paul Daley +170