Retired referee “Big” John McCarthy has doubled down on his recent comments comparing Michael “Venom” Page to former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
Page recently knocked out Shinsho Anzai at Bellator Japan to take his professional record to 17-1. During the fight, McCarthy, who was commentating, compared the Bellator welterweight’s career so far to Silva’s first few fights claiming that the former had faced better opponents.
That didn’t go down so well within the MMA community, especially given Page’s unwanted reputation of only fighting lower-level opponents.
The idea that MVP has faced better opponents than ANDERSON SILVA 17 fights into his career might be the most wrong thing John McCarthy has ever said.
— Tim B (@TB_Money) December 29, 2019
However, McCarthy stands by his comments as he dived deep into the subject matter on the latest Weighing In podcast.
“I’m not talking about Anderson over his entire career,” McCarthy said. “If you want to break his career into sections, I can say this and say at the beginning, his first 16, 17, 18 fights, Anderson Silva had decent competition at times, good competition at times, and bad competition at other times.
“He fought and lost to Daiju Takase. Takase was 4-7. His [Silva] first 20 fights, he was 16-4. He fought good fighters in Jeremy Horn. [Hayato] Sakurai. Sakurai was a 170-pounder. He was small. It’s a good win over a good opponent but he’s fighting way out of his weight class.”
McCarthy later turned his attention to Page.
“MVP has fought one fighter with a losing record his entire career and that was his second fight,” McCarthy explained. “Every other fighter he’s fought has had a winning record. So you can’t sit there and say they’re giving him cans.
“If you don’t like Michael Venom Page, fine, you don’t like him. I’m telling you he’s one of the most exciting fighters I’ve ever seen. That’s just as simple as it gets — he is exciting to watch. He is fun to watch. He puts on a show. Now has he had bad fights? Yeah. He had fights where he didn’t do what he was supposed to do. And won against guys like Fernando Gonzalez, a very tough fighter and a guy that has fought guys that Anderson Silva fought [Alex Stiebling]. … Gonzalez beat Alex Stiebling. If you look at MVP and you match them up correctly — MVP has 18 fights so I was going off of him having 17 fights — it matches up very well. It does not mean that MVP’s career can be matched with Anderson’s career at this moment.”
McCarthy brings up a few good points.
But even still, it’s unlikely to convince many of his original claim especially when Page’s biggest career win arguably came against a 36-year-old Paul Daley in a drab five-round fight.