Bellator fights we want to see in 2021: Gracie vs MVP
When Douglas Lima makes his return to welterweight, Yaraslov Amosov should be the man waiting to greet the champ and his title. But just beyond that booking awaits a fight Bellator needs to make in 2021. Not only to set up the next contender in line to “The Phenom.” But to give us a bloody slice of old school booking.
Bellator dream fight: Neiman Gracie vs. Michael Page
Neiman Gracie has quietly turned into the most well-rounded Gracie ever. He won’t land on any “knockout of the year” lists. However, his striking is underrated and far ahead of his past and present relatives in the sport. Yet what makes him a hidden (and underutilized) talent in Bellator is his ability to transition from striking, to wrestling, and to jiu-jitsu at a high level. Ask Jon Fitch how good Gracie’s grappling is. The same grinding wrestling he used to nearly lift the welterweight title off Rory MacDonald led him into a heel hook loss and retirement.
The B-side (or A if you prefer striking) to Gracie’s impressive grappling is Michael Page’s stand-up artistry. They are like the Scorpion and Sub Zero (for you Mortal Kombat fans) of the 170-pound division. Both notably gifted at a specific skill, but the polar opposite of the other. As bad as Gracie could make Page look on the ground, “Venom” could do the same on the feet, and make it look otherworldly.
Who would win?
I love the classic striker versus grappler aspect of it with a 2021 flair. My gut tells me Gracie would be able to snatch up a leg and make Page say, “uncle.” However, the act of just trying to get close enough on “MVP” to make it happen, would be spine-tingling.