Paul Daley Announces Retirement Fight at 175-Pound Bellator Catchweight

By Jay Pettry Oct 2, 2020

Acclaimed British knockout artist Paul Daley is planning on taking one final Bellator MMA fight before he says goodbye to the sport.

On Thursday, Daley (41-17-2) posted an announcement on Instagram that his next fight will be his final bout, and that it will take place at a 175-pound catchweight. There is no date, location or opponent currently scheduled for the retirement match. Daley was originally booked to headline Bellator 247 on Oct. 1 in Milan, Italy, against Derek Anderson. On fight week, the boisterous Brit was hospitalized due to a bad weight cut.

“Forever a samurai,” Daley wrote on Instagram. “But soon we will put the blade to rest. After discussions and careful consideration with my family, it has been decided that my next fight @bellatormma will be my last. To be fought at a catch weight of 175lbs. Opponent and location to be confirmed. Health before Wealth, and NEVER COMPROMISE YOURSELF.”

Daley’s career has been littered with examples where the welterweight could not hit the 171-pound limit, or 170 pounds for championship affairs. Bouts in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Bellator, BAMMA and even Shark Fights were scuttled or changed due to Daley’s inability to make weight. Against Anderson alone, the two were initially scheduled to meet at Bellator 163 in 2016, but an illness related to the weight cut knocked Daley out of that bout. A troublingly similar situation arose on Wednesday.

Daley posted a video that has since been deleted claiming he could still fight at Bellator 247, but the promotion shut the fight down. The commission official overseeing international Bellator events, Mike Mazzulli, took issue with Daley’s troubled weight history.

“What he’s doing right now is not good for his body, plain and simple, and he needs to understand that he shouldn’t be doing this,” Mazzulli told MMA Fighting on Wednesday. “He’s going to have to go up in weight. It amazes me that he thinks it’s OK what he’s doing with his body at his age.”

The 37-year-old striker began his professional MMA career in 2003, where he racked up 33 knockout wins across his 41 victories – amassing a knockout rate of 80 percent. Daley has not pulled off a submission in his career. The polarizing figure took three bouts in the UFC from 2009 to 2010, and the last of which came in a decision loss to Josh Koscheck at UFC 113. After dropping a decision, well after the fight had ended, Daley punched Koscheck in the eye and was subsequently banned from the UFC.

After leaving the UFC, “Semtex” went to Strikeforce, where he recorded a knockout of Scott Smith and went on to go toe-to-toe with Nick Diaz for nearly five minutes in one of the greatest one-round bouts in MMA history. Daley eventually found his way to Bellator, where he racked up a few more knockouts and competed in the welterweight grand prix, only to come up short to bitter rival Michael Page in the quarterfinals. Daley’s last bout was also a 175-pound catchweight contest, and he finished Saad Awad in the second round in October 2019.
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