Bellator 292’s opening bout saw Goiti Yamauchi take a devastating loss to Michael Page, with the fight ending in just 26 seconds due to a single strike.
Page’s kick left Yamauchi with a severe knee injury, which was confirmed by Bellator CEO Scott Coker during the post-fight press conference. This injury is likely to keep Yamauchi out of the game for an extended period. Fight fans were left in shock as they witnessed the brutal sequence, making it a must-see moment in Bellator’s recent history.
Ok this angle is insane. Looks like Yamauchi’s kneecap exploded?! pic.twitter.com/GmCIBKCKzb
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) March 11, 2023
“Based on the x-ray, it’s a patella tendon rupture,” Coker said. “So that sounds very painful.”
Goiti Yamauchi is a well-known name in Bellator, having spent ten years with the promotion and holding the record for most submissions (nine) under its banner. His recent three-fight win streak had brought him to the edge of title contention, but the loss to Michael Page abruptly ended his momentum. Page, on the other hand, has now established himself as one of the most vicious finishers in Bellator history, with two of his knockouts being particularly memorable, including his skull-cracking finish of Evangelista Santos in 2016.
Page’s swift return to the cage after his one-fight appearance in bare-knuckle boxing was impressive, and his record of 7-1 in his last eight MMA fights has earned him a call for a title shot against undefeated Bellator welterweight champion Yaroslav Amosov. While Bellator CEO Scott Coker seems open to the idea, he mentioned that Page will have to wait his turn for a title shot. As the welterweight division continues to heat up, MMA fans will be eagerly awaiting the next chapter in this story.
“I know we have [Jason] Jackson in the wings, right? So we have to be respectful to that. He’s been waiting a long time,” Coker said. “But I’m excited to get ‘MVP’ back and get busy. I mean, this guy is so talented, he’s so fast, and if you were going to tell me that he was going to do a leg kick and take someone out with a leg kick, I don’t know if I would’ve believed it. But that’s how versatile he is. So good for him and I’ve always enjoyed watching that guy fight, because he can do it all, so we’ll have him back in the cage soon.
“I think he’s ranked No. 1 or No. 2 now, so he’s going to have to kind of hold tight until Jackson gets his shot, and then he’ll get a shot after that.”