Following a close split-decision loss to Kazuo Misaki and his eventual release from Strikeforce, welterweight knockout artist Paul “Semtex” Daley is looking to move on and start a new chapter in his career.
“I’ve put that behind me,” said Daley. “I have my opinions on the fight, but it doesn’t matter now because it’s marked down on my record and there’s nothing I can do. The judges made their decision, there’s no appealing the commission, and so what’s done is done.
“I’ve had a lot of discrepancies in recent fights, but I’m not one to dwell on them. The fans enjoyed the fight, they know what I’m capable of, they have their opinion and I have my opinion. We just move on to the next.”
And what is next for Daley is his debut at Bellator 72 on Friday night in Tampa, Fla., against veteran Rudy Bears in what could be an explosive showdown if previous trends hold true. (Bellator 72 streams live on MMAWeekly.com.)
“If you look at the promotions (I debuted in) my starts have all been KOs,” said Daley. “If history is anything to go by, then it’s another knockout, but I’m not too worried about it. Rudy Bears is a tough guy, but I’ve trained hard and he hasn’t fought anybody of my caliber or faced the level of competition that I have.
“I’m obviously the favorite, but this is MMA and anything can happen, so I’ve got to be sharp and that I’m not too overconfident. I’m just there to take him as an individual fighter and not look at anything that came before.”
Daley pointed out to MMAWeekly.com that he while he doesn’t try to force a finish, it can be almost inevitable considering his skills.
“I throw my punches when I feel they’re going to land and when I feel they’re going to do damage; I don’t like to waste much,” said Daley. “I’m confident when something lands you’re going to get knocked out or you’re going to get knocked down and I’m going to ground and pound you or get a submission.
“I don’t think there’s anybody that hasn’t dropped by a clean shot. Everybody has at least dropped, even if I don’t get the finish immediately off that; everybody goes down. We’re going to bring the bad news to Rudy and I think he’s in for a rude awakening when I hit him.”
Having previously contended for championships in other promotions, Daley is willing to put in the work to get a title shot in Bellator.
“I definitely want to go through the tournament,” said Daley. “I’m old school MMA. I grew up on Pride’s tournaments with the confetti falling down and that’s still one of my greatest dreams. Bellator is as close to that as you get to a Pride GP nowadays. So to go through the tournament, win, get the big check and have all the silver bits falling down, is something that I want to do and something I can achieve.
“Every fight is a big fight for me. I’ve got a lot of not so much pressure, but I like to see my development and where I’m at. This year is the biggest year, and next year’s going to be (even bigger). I just want to get back busy, get back winning and get back entertaining.”
- Kazuo Misaki