After being granted release from his Strikeforce contract earlier this month, Paul “Semtex” Daley (29-12-2) has signed on with Bellator Fighting Championships and will make his debut with the promotion at Bellator 72 on July 20 at the Sun Dome in Tampa, Fla.
Daley will enter Bellator’s welterweight tournament with the hopes of earning an eventual shot at the 170 pound title currently held by undefeated Olympian Ben Askren. Daley’s opponent for July 20 is still to be determined.
Daley explained why he chose to sign with Bellator:
“I’ve been a fan of Bellator for a long while. When this chance came up, I was absolutely ready to make a long term commitment to Bellator. I have my sights set on winning the tournament and winning that Bellator title. The organization has really been developing and signing a lot of the best fighters in the world, and it’s another reason why I signed with Bellator. The tournament format is something that really stood out to me, and it’s a chance to face some of the best fighters in the sport. There isn’t anyone sitting at the top of the mountain top making decisions on who fights who, the fighters get to decide who is going to be the next champion, and that’s how it should be. Bellator does it right, and that’s why I’m here.”
Bjorn Rebney, Bellator Chairman and CEO, said he has been a fan of Daley for years and once he became a free agent, he felt it was an obvious decision to work to add him to the Bellator roster.
The 29-year-old Daley is most known for his dangerous and explosive striking. With 29 wins under his belt, 20 of those came by way of knockout. Despite going 2-1 inside the UFC, with wins over Martin Kampmann and Dustin Hazelett, Daley was released from the promotion in May 2010 after he took a swing at Josh Koscheck following the final bell of their three round bout at UFC 113.
Daley fought for the Strikeforce welterweight title against Nick Diaz in April of last year, ultimately losing via TKO with just three seconds left in the first round. Following that fight he has gone 2-2, most recently dropping a split decision to Kazuo Misaki at “Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey” back in March.
Stay close to ProMMAnow.com (www.prommanow.com) as Daley’s opponent and other bouts are announced for Bellator 72 and the rest of the promotion’s Summer Series fight cards.