Hard-hitting Brit Paul Daley has been removed from the Bellator Fighting Championships’ Season 8 welterweight tournament.
Sherdog.com Wednesday confirmed the development with a sources close to the situation, who verified that visa issues will prevent the hard-hitting Brit from entering the United States in time to join the tournament. According to one of Sherdog’s sources, an assault charge filed against Daley in the U.K. is to blame. ESPN.com first reported the development on Tuesday, indicating that the charge stemmed from a bar fight, though Sherdog’s source could not confirm that aspect of the report.
Daley recently took to Facebook to address the situation, confirming that he will not fight in the Season 8 draw but denying that a “bar brawl” was the cause of his visa troubles.
“It seems as though a mass press release has gone out to the MMA media, stating I was involved bar brawl, arrested, and cannot obtain a P-1 visa to compete in the U.S.A.,” Daley wrote. “I am currently awaiting a decision on my visa, which is not expected until late April, which means I am unable to compete in the Season 8 Bellator tournament, as it starts in January. I will be fighting in Europe in the coming months, so I am able to stay active while awaiting a decision on my visa status. I was not involved in a bar brawl. This is 100 percent a false statement.”
Known for his punching power, Daley signed with Bellator last year following a four-fight stint with Strikeforce, during which he unsuccessfully challenged Nick Diaz for that promotion’s welterweight title. A winner in three of his last four fights, the 29-year-old previously competed for the UFC from 2009 to 2010, receiving his promotional release after taking a swing at Josh Koscheck after their bout had concluded at UFC 113. “Semtex” made his Bellator debut this past July, earning a first-round technical knockout over Rudy Bears at Bellator 72.