Paul Daley and Bellator MMA have agreed to terms on a new contract, clearing the way for the British knockout artist to enter the promotion’s welterweight grand prix.
Sherdog.com confirmed with a promotion official on Wednesday that “Semtex” will enter the 170-pound field following an initial report from ESPN.com. An opponent for Daley in the bracket has not been confirmed.
Bellator’s welterweight grand prix will begin with a third meeting between former champions Douglas Lima and Andrey Koreshkov on Sept. 29 in San Jose, Calif. The other competitors in the tournament are Rory MacDonald, Michael Page, Neiman Gracie, Ed Ruth, Yaroslav Amosov, Lorenz Larkin and Jon Fitch. No other matchups have been revealed, though it is likely that Bellator will strongly consider pairing Daley with Page, his rival countryman.
Daley has been at odds with Bellator several on several occasions during his tenure, claiming that he was “done” with the promotion at the conclusion of his most recent deal. More recently, “Semtex” expressed his displeasure at being grounded in a matchup with Jon Fitch by booing as time ticked down during their Bellator 199 encounter. Regardless of those issues, both parties were able to reach an agreement.
Ali Abdelaziz, Daley’s manager, praised Bellator after the negotiations had concluded:
Shout out to @MikeKoganMMA @ScottCoker for being true professionals. No egos. I’m so blow away by the way they handle business. On the second hand - someone’s getting knocked the fuck out #scottcokerlivinglegend— Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) July 18, 2018
Daley’s last appearance was the aforementioned decision defeat to Jon Fitch at Bellator 199. The 35-year-old is 6-3 in Bellator and owns a noteworthy second-round knockout of fellow grand prix entrant Larkin. Daley also squared off against MacDonald in May 2017, falling to “The Red King” via second-round submission.