It’s safe to say last night’s scrap between Paul Daley and Michael Page did not deliver jaw-dropping, striking exchanges like most people expected, and the latter’s blasting “Semtex” for how the bout unfolded.

The rivals squared off in the headliner of Bellator 216 in a contest that also served as a quarterfinal for the promotion’s welterweight grand-prix. The fight’s opening round saw Page moving forward and Daley in retreat for most of it. After that, Daley starting hunting for takedowns, and while he was able to score several he didn’t score much damage from the top. After five rounds the judges decided that Page had done enough to win the fight via scores of 48-47.

Well, after the contest, Page had this to say about his performance as well as his rival’s (quotes via MMA Junkie):

“It’s out of the way, but in all honesty, it’s not done,” Page said. “I’m somewhat happy, obviously getting a win. But the way it finished, I’m not happy with. And it might mean actually bringing this fight to the U.K. in the future.”

“I’m not happy with my performance. I’m proud of myself because it wasn’t a physical battle in there – it was a mental battle… So I’m proud of myself for doing it, but still not happy with the performance.

“I made a lot of mistakes myself. But at the same time, I told you guys he was a bitch. He talked all this stuff about being able to knock me out and he ran the whole first round. And then all he wanted to do was play ground work – play wrestling.”

There you have it. Now, there’s no question that the fight didn’t unfold – at all – like it was billed, and chances are a lot of fans weren’t happy with what went down. After all, Page and Daley are two of the promotion’s most dangerous strikers.

But, really, the fact Daley elected to go that route shouldn’t have been that big of a surprise. In fact, tactically speaking, it was a smart decision. Daley negated Page’s reach and range with the takedowns, and he exposed the fact he still has work to do on his wrestling game. If Daley had been able to do more with the top position he would have won the fight.

In terms of a rematch, you would think Bellator would love to book Daley – Page 2 for a card in Britain down the line. Although the first bout didn’t deliver on the hype, it’s still a match-up that would draw a lot of interest, particularly in the European nation.

Up next, Page will take on Douglas Lima, May 11th in their welterweight grand-prix, semifinal fight.

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