Parents all around the world can relate to the concept of weekend sport. Moms and dads find themselves behind the wheel taking their young ones to a variety of fields, courts and gyms to partake in the weekend activity.

Looking out the window, kids watch as the world passes them by. Their cleats or shoes gripped to their little feet, their helmets by their side. It’s game day. It’s the best day of the week, and you can bet that they are excited to be around their friends and finally have the chance to have some fun.

For a lot of kids, weekend sport is just a thing of recreation. There aren’t that many who find themselves forging a career in the same sport they played as a youngster. But then there are the lucky ones.

Bellator’s Michael Page is one of those fortunate few.

“My first competition was when I was five years old,” Page explained to The MMA Corner. “Literally every weekend or every other weekend we were driving up to some competition somewhere, and I’d be there all day. I’d fight earlier on in the junior sections, and then later on watch all my teammates and the adults, like my dad, fighting in the evening. So, it’s just been a lifetime of fighting or watching fighting.

“Martial arts has been a big part of my life. It’s just something that’s been in my family. Everyone has done or still does martial arts, so this is something I’ve sorta grown up in. After years and years of doing kickboxing and teaching in kickboxing, I thought that there’s not much left to offer me in the kickboxing world. It’s not very televised [and] it doesn’t get that much exposure, so I had to find something else. I enjoy performing and I’d love to perform for a living, so I had to choose a different combat sport. So, I switched over to MMA and I fell in love with it.”

With his combat-sports pedigree primarily lying in kickboxing, Page decided to make the transition to mixed martial arts. It was then that he realized what it was like to once again find that he is discovering an art form for the very first time.

“I fell in love with becoming a student again,” Page admitted. “Having to learn jiu-jitsu and grappling and the wrestling—having to learn all of that—I just fell in love with it. It’s great when you’re excited and you have that first-day feeling, which I’ve had for years and I still have now, because it’s something new that you’re attacking. I was picking up things quickly and naturally. Like most MMA fighters, I am pretty competitive, so I’d be trying to go in and get one up on training partners, and that makes you progress quickly that much quicker as well.”

In his May 17 bout, Page makes his return to action after having a little over a year off due to injury.

“I’m extremely excited,” Page admitted. “It’s been a frustrating year of injuries, but it’s good to be coming back. One was cartilage in between the ribs which was twisted. It prevented me from doing any punching, kicking and grappling because every time I got squeezed I was just in too much discomfort to perform.

“Although it’s been a frustrating year, I’ve had so much competition experience in my lifetime anyway, it’s not new for me to be injured and be out and then to come back in. I just can’t wait to get back in there. [I have] no nerves from being out. I just wanna get back in there again.”

Heading into the Bellator 120 pay-per-view, Page has an undefeated record. More impressively, all five of his professional victories have come in the very first round. Page made his Bellator debut at Bellator 93, where he won his fight in just 10 seconds. He is eager to add to his slew of first-round victories live on pay-per-view.

“It’s good. I know I’m going to have some battles ahead, so I am preparing for those. To be honest, you don’t get paid for any extra time in there,” Page said with a laugh. “I’m extremely over the moon. It’s only been a short time that I have been competing in MMA and I’ve managed to get to such a big stage, and now I’m fighting on such a big platform for Bellator after having a year out as well. I feel they appreciate me a lot, and I am really happy about it. I’m gonna go out there and put on a show like I always do. I’m ready to be back in the cage.”

The days of Page eagerly sitting in the back of a car waiting to arrive at his destination and take part in weekend after weekend of competition may have long passed. However, his passion for competing and bettering himself has only gotten stronger as the years have gone by. When he returns to the Bellator cage on May 17, it is his chance to showcase everything that he has learned over the span of all those years as a student of the game.

Michael would like to thank Multipower, Grips and the team at London Shootfighters. Follow Page on Twitter: @Michaelpage247

About The Author

Staff Writer, Australia

Located in Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Neil Rooke has been writing about the sport of MMA since 2011. In the past, Neil has written for Cage Junkies and has written for Fight! Magazine as well as Fist! Fight Magazine. Neil is also a regular contributor to Fight! Magazine Australia and Yahoo! Sports Singapore.