Paul “Semtex” Daley will not be making a UFC return at the organization’s upcoming show in Manchester, England. The top British welterweight has instead signed a UK-exclusive deal with British promotion BAMMA.
BAMMA confirmed the signing today, but not the details of the contract; sources say the deal is for three fights over twelve months. Daley believes the first of those fights is likely to be at a BAMMA arena show in December.
“Yes, I have signed to BAMMA. Exclusive to the UK, still expect to see me fighting around the world with other organizations, such as in November in Russia with Legend,” Daley told Sherdog.com and Fighters Only Magazine.
“The BAMMA deal is suited to me perfectly right now. I feel their international matchups appeal to hardcore fans and the production and PR appeals to mainstream sporting viewers.
“Right now my focus is on my next fight in November, but expect me to fight for BAMMA this year at a UK arena show in December ... possibly.”
Daley had been linked with a possible UFC return in recent weeks following his release from an exclusive Bellator MMA contract. But the speculation appears to have been more hope than substance. There has been no formal contact between the parties.
Combine Daley’s release from Bellator being (ostensibly) due to visa issues with the circumstances that saw him leave the UFC -- swinging for Josh Koscheck after their fight was over -- and one can see why the world’s premier promotion might consider him a risky resigning.
“I would understand their thinking,” Daley admits. “But my life is more settled now. I'm still very much an independent thinker but I have a less hostile and more open outlook on life in general. I'm more calm now, I very rarely let things anger me.
“I think being a father has gave me more direction, and can see my future clearer and know what I must do to achieve the goals.
“I don't think there will be a return to the UFC in the next 12 months. But before I retire? That could be possible. I would fight anyone in the UFC welterweight division bar Dan Hardy as he's a friend, and we started this dream together.
“Over the next 4 years you are going to see an ever improving Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley with more exciting victories and an ever-growing fanbase, making me hard for any major organization to ignore.”
Fighters Only Magazine is available online via iTunes Newsstand, Kindle and Zinio. Visit www.fightersonlymag.com for subscription details.