Paul Daley has had an interesting run in the mixed martial arts game. He’s fought at the highest level and competed with a who’s who of welterweight contenders and the occasional former champion. He’s put several of them to sleep too. While Paul Daley has had his brush with the greats of the sport (Nick Diaz, Tyron Woodley, Rory MacDonald), he has yet to truly reach to the top of the mountain, so to speak.
Semtex, as he’s known, has arguably the heaviest hands in the welterweight division in any promotion. He has punished Duane Ludwig, demolished Martin Kampmann, outstruck Jorge Masvidal, put Brennan Ward out to lunch as well as stunning Lorenz Larkin.
His fight passport is full with him having competed with many promotions such as Cage Rage, Final Fight, Strikeforce, Elite XC, BAMMA, Cage Warriors, Pancrase, Shark Fights and of course the big two; Bellator and the UFC.
His participation in the Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix helps fill out one of the most competitive and star-studded brackets with the very best at 170-pounds, outside of the industry leader the UFC. With current welterweight champion Rory Macdonald putting his title on the line throughout the tournament, former top contender and WSOF and UFC alum Jon Fitch participating, Neiman Gracie of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu fame, former Bellator welterweight kingpin Douglas Lima, and of course the human highlight reel himself and Daley’s first opponent, Michael “Venom” Page.
Of course, this is but one of the last two opening-round bouts, with Gracie and Lima having already advanced to the next round. Fitch and MacDonald will face off later as well. Daley will be entering this highly anticipated event coming off a decision loss to fellow participant Jon Fitch, looking to rebound and right the ship on his second run with Bellator.
This matchup is arguably the most exciting and fan-friendly pairing in the tournament, with an exciting storyline to boot. Daley and Page have been linked for quite some time now. The possibility of two of the UK’s most exciting fighters let alone most dynamic strikers in the MMA world facing off has been what the fans have been waiting for. Of course, there is bad blood between the two Brits. Page has been critical of Semtex in the media and Daley is not happy about it. Both men are not short on personality and the clash that happens when both are put together is must-see entertainment.
Even without the stakes of the bout (a chance to face off with Douglas Lima in the next round), the fight is definitely main event worthy.
The striking pairing here is particularly juicy. MVP comes from a point-fighting karate background and is incredibly accurate with both his hands and feet, but has also been no slouch on the mat. Daley has lights-out power in both hands and has been known to unleash hellish knees and kicks when given the opportunity. In fact, both men have had devastating flying knee knockouts over their opponents. So it is fair to say that we can expect something spectacular when it comes to the stand up in this upcoming main event. Pin-point accuracy and speed vs power and ferocity.
A kickboxing fan’s fantasy happening in the cage after a long wait, and in Bellator’s premier division of 170-pounds.
Daley is perhaps the most dangerous striker in the whole tournament, and should he put MVP out in a big way, a rematch with Lima in on the horizon, but with the stakes and stage being even higher and more prestigious. Although he may have lost to Lima in the first go-round, with Daley in the mix, a massive knockout is always in his back pocket. Expect him to make MVP respect his striking with power shots and aggression right out of the gate. Daley will be coming into these bouts fired up and ready to reclaim some of the shine that has brought the eyes of MMA fans all over the world to his fanbase.