Michael Page is undefeated in his 14 professional mixed martial arts fights

Michael ‘Venom’ Page says he wants to dominate the welterweight division as he prepares for the Bellator Grand Prix semi-final on Saturday.

The Briton took a unanimous decision in his five-round bout against fellow Englishman Paul Daley in February to set up a meeting with Douglas Lima.

Victory over the Brazilian in Chicago would hand Page, 32, a shot at the title and $1m (£765,500) prize money.

“I am enjoying this path that I am on,” Page told BBC Sport.

“I feel like it is part of my journey and I knew I would end up there one day.”

The Londoner says training has been “hell” after a quick turnaround from February’s bout meant he was straight back into an intense schedule following a planned holiday in which he spent three weeks travelling around the Caribbean.

“It hasn’t been enjoyable at all,” he added. “It’s just been a lot of hard work and because it is so close to the other fight I didn’t feel like I was fully recovered before jumping into this next camp.

“At the same time, I feel good and am starting to respond better to different things. My decision-making is getting 10 times better and I am excited for this fight.”

Page, whose father died on Boxing Day, said he was not in the right “head space” when he was taken the distance by Daley in his previous fight.

“I am definitely in a better head space,” he added. “I felt cloudy and I was on auto-pilot, but just had no answers for the game plan he decided to choose at that time.

“It’s a position I have been in 100 million times. I just never responded that way and it looked a lot worse than it actually was.”

Page’s parents, who met through kickboxing, introduced their son to the sport at the age of three and had him competing by the age of five.

“It’s been everything but it’s guided me in the right ways,” he said. “I wasn’t raised in the best of areas but it gave me the confidence to say ‘no’ to a lot of things. I think that’s a very important trait to have.

“I was confident in myself as a kid just because of what I was doing, it was very hard to steer me the wrong way.

“I was always cool and had people I would class as friends who were getting into trouble and I was able to be like ‘nah, I’m not going to be involved in that…’ – for me, that was just because of my discipline through martial arts.”

Now Page makes a living out of his art and is enjoying recognition from his peers – he was pictured alongside 50 Cent after the Daley fight and trains regularly with rapper and TV personality Big Narstie.

“He is an amazing character, seriously,” added Page, who says they train together up to three times a week. “A genuine, funny person.

“A lot of people have contacted me to say they are watching and are proud of me and they are fans, so it’s nice to have that behind you as it shows you are heading in the right direction.”

At some point, Page would like to venture back into boxing, where he has a professional record of 2-0, but at the moment he is happy at Bellator and focused on Saturday’s bout with Lima.

“[I want to] win the belt, defend it a few times and then see where I am at,” said Page.

“I have a lot of personal goals but within mixed martial arts it’s about showing pure domination and showing the world that my art, freestyle kickboxing, is an effective art to use and have in your arsenal.”

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