Former Strikeforce number one contender Paul “Semtex” Daley will make his return to the promotion on March 3, against respected judoka Kazuo Misaki. With an overall record of 24-11-2 (wins over Dan Henderson, Dennis Kang and Phil Baroni), Misaki is a seasoned MMA veteran and he’s certainly Daley’s toughest opponent since Tyron Woodley.
Daley isn’t intimidated by Misaki’s past victories. He plans to put on an entertaining show when the two meet inside the cage. Daley just rounded up an intensive training camp in Thailand, and he’s confident he’ll be victorious when the two MMA veterans collide.
“Very dangerous guy [Misaki]… It’s his first time at middleweight and I think I got the beat on him and I’m more than confident he’s getting wedged,” Daley told me on Jan. 18. “I’m ready to go out and finish, Misaki won’t make it out of the first round. I’m looking forward to fighting on Strikeforce. I’m happy to become the main event now.”
Daley is one of the most dangerous welterweights outside the UFC, and the bout against Misaki might determine his future in MMA. With a win on March 3, Daley will be one step closer to the Strikeforce welterweight title and that much closer to resigning with the UFC.
“After I knock out Misaki and send him back home to Japan, I’ll do the same thing to Tyron Woodley,” Daley continued. “I think he was very lucky last time. This fight is going to be five rounds. I don’t think he’s got the conditioning, and I don’t think he’s got the beat on me. I think he was very very lucky last time. This time, his luck’s run out. I’m looking forward to getting back in and taking the Strikeforce belt. In an ideal world, I see myself going into the UFC after that and getting a rematch with Nick Diaz.”
I personally feel Daley’s fight against Nick Diaz was one of the most entertaining MMA bouts in 2011, and the UFC can surely use another gifted fighter in their welterweight division.