Paul Daley’s rivalry with Michael Page may have cost him a side gig with Bellator MMA.
The welterweight recently posted on social media that he’s been fired from his analyst role with the California-based promotion for an opinion that was a little “off script.” While Bellator has not confirmed Daley’s removal, it’s likely that “Semtex” is referring to comments he made regarding Page during Bellator London on Nov. 23.
“This is ridiculous,” Daley said after Page’s first-round knockout victory over Giovanni Melillo (transcription via MMAjunkie.com). “You can’t continually beat these kind of opponents. Yes, he knocks them out, but he’s expected to knock them out. What does this prove, the fact that he knocked out a guy nobody will remember? It proves nothing. It proves nothing at all. Why didn’t he do that to me? Why didn’t he do that to Douglas Lima? Because he’s not of that caliber.
“I need to see more from Michael Page, in my opinion, whether it’s a rematch with me or a rematch with another top-tier fighter. Does a win over this guy warrant a title shot? In my opinion it doesn’t. Yes, he’s a star. Yes, people love him. But can he really fight? The two times he’s stepped up, on paper, he’s got a ‘victory’ over me. Most people, including me, thought he lost that fight. Second time he stepped up against the champion, who I went three rounds with, he gets knocked out cold. So he needs to fight solid opponents instead of feeding him these guys.”
Daley and Page squared off at Bellator 216 this past February, with Page taking a lackluster five-round decision win as part of the welterweight grand prix. Page would go on to lose to Douglas Lima in the semifinals via knockout, but he has since won his last three Bellator appearances.
Daley, meanwhile, has posted victories over Erick Silva and Saad Awad since his loss to Page, but it appears he will no longer be used in an analyst role for Bellator events going forward. The promotion has not commented on Page’s removal from the position.