A week ago, former UFC fighter Paul Daley asked to be released from his contract with Strikeforce. He’s now signed with Bellator Fighting Championships.
“I’ve been a fan of Bellator for a long while,” Daley said in a press release. “When this chance came up, I was absolutely ready to make a long-term commitment to Bellator. I have my sights set on winning the tournament and winning that Bellator title. … The tournament format is something that really stood out to me. There isn’t anyone sitting at the top of the mountaintop making decisions on who fights who. The fighters get to decide who is going to be the next champion, and that’s how it should be.”
Daley is scheduled to make his debut at Bellator 72, scheduled for July 20 at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Fla. His opponent is yet to be determined.
“I’ve been a ‘Semtex’ fan for years,” Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney said about their most recent signing. “He’s an incredibly explosive fighter who is magic to watch inside the cage. So, when the opportunity presented itself to join forces with Paul, it was a simple decision to make. Paul’s one of those fighters I’ve always intentionally stayed home to watch and now I can watch him cageside at Bellator.”
Bellator’s decision to sign Daley is certainly a smart move, considering the British MMA fighter’s aggressive style. He has struggled a bit in recent years, but he’s still one of the most dangerous welterweights on the planet (with wins against the likes of Martin Kampmann, and a pretty entertaining battle against Nick Diaz).
If Daley wins his Bellator debut, he’ll probably end up on the season-seven welterweight tournament scheduled for late 2012.
Given Daley’s pedigree, he should be a dominant force in Bellator’s welterweight division, as long as he remains focused. With the opportunity to reestablish himself as one of the best welterweights around, I expect Daley to do just that.
Mike Chiappetta, “Bellator Signs Knockout Artist Paul Daley”
Brett Okamoto, “Paul Daley lands with Bellator”
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.