Paul Daley had a rough second half of 2016.
After losing to Douglas Lima in a likely No. 1 contender’s bout at Bellator 158 in July, “Semtex” was pulled from a proposed bout against Derek Anderson at Bellator 163 due to a difficult weight cut. Daley actually made weight at 171 pounds, but was removed from the card on the day of the bout for precautionary reasons.
The British slugger is set to return to the cage at Bellator 170 on Jan. 21, when he will square off with fellow knockout artist Brennan Ward in the evening’s co-main event. Daley, who has struggled making weight on more than one occasion, doesn’t anticipate any issues leading up to his bout with Ward.
“Things didn’t go according to plan for the last event I was scheduled to compete. I made the weight, but what happened after making the weight which was a problem,” Daley said during a recent conference call. “Obviously we ironed it out. We’re on target to make the weight again. Not so drastically this time.
“We should have everything back on point as it has been and ready to compete in what is going to be the most exciting fight on the card.”
Before his loss to Lima, Daley had won nine of his previous 10 fights, including four triumphs under the Bellator MMA banner. One bout that doesn’t seem like it will happen, however, is Daley’s grudge match with his rival from the UFC, Josh Koscheck. Koscheck signed with the California-based promotion in 2015 but has yet to compete, twice pulling out of fights -- including a showdown with Daley at Bellator 158.
While Koscheck hasn’t formally retired, Daley believes the writing is on the wall, and he is no longer concerned with achieving closure on their rivalry.
“I’ve moved on from the whole Koscheck fight. To me it’s clear he doesn’t want to fight,” Daley said. “I think he’s enjoying his life now. I hear he’s doing very well away from the cage, and I don’t blame him. When you’re sleeping in those silk sheets you don’t really want to be getting in the cage with someone like me who’s still hungry for knockouts and entertaining the crowds.”