MMA veteran Paul “Semtex” Daley’s is one of the top ten welterweights in the world right now, and his championship bout against UFC top contender Nick Diaz back in April, won’t be forgotten by fans anytime soon. Daley is currently busy helping teammates Andre Winner and Jim Wallhead prepare their BAMMA 8 bouts, set for Dec. 10, at the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham, England.
I caught up with Daley on Nov. 24, and he had some interesting things to say about his past and future in the sport.
David: How on earth did you cut forty pounds for your last fight?
Paul: No, that was just a joke, it just got taped. I said it as a joke to a Canadian Journalist. Like an hour after I said it, I went on the internet and I saw this crazy thread… I hate cutting five pounds, let alone 40 pounds.
David: If there’s a weakness in your game, I’ll say it’s your takedown defense. What are you doing to improve your takedown defense?
Paul: I’ve been working on it forever now, and I continue to work at it. I’ve got one of the best coaches in Kenny Johnson and it’s something we continue to work on. I work it all the time and it’s getting much better.
David: How was training with GSP and the guys at Tristar?
Paul: Unfortunately, we didn’t actually get to train together because just before I got there he injured his knee. He comes over to London a lot and I’m going to try to get out to Canada as much as possible. Hopefully, in the near future, we’ll be able to get something going.
David: How do you feel about Nick Diaz getting a title shot in the UFC?
Paul: I can look at it two ways. I can look at it to my credit that I know I can beat another champ, or I can look at it to my disadvantage. Had I won the fight, I could’ve been in the same position as him. I know I’m at that level, from the 12 months since leaving the UFC. I know that’s where I need to be if I’m gonna compete at this top level. There’s no one that can challenge me in the lower ranks, they have to be like top five or nobody. I think I can destroy anybody below the top five. It’s only the top five welterweights in the world that can challenge me.
David: Do you think Diaz has a good shot against GSP?
Paul: I think he has a great shot against GSP if the fight can stay standing. Even off his back, Nick Diaz is very dangerous and he’s submitted a lot of good guys. You just give a slight edge to GSP because of his wrestling and the fact he’s the champion, but I think this is by far the most dangerous challenger GSP is gonna face, and I think it’s gonna be a very tough fight for him.
David: Who do you plan to fight next?
Paul: I don’t know, I’ve just been told by my manager, I’m probably not going to fight until February. There so much going on with Strikeforce and other negotiations, who knows when or where I’m gonna be fighting… I think big things will happen in 2012. I think there’s gonna be some big announcements and some big news will be made in 2012.