Paul Daley sees catchweight fights as possibility but understands Bellator 257 could be it

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Nolan King
·2 min read
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UNCASVILLE, Conn. – When Paul Daley steps inside the cage to fight rival Sabah Homasi at Bellator 257, it could be the final time fans see him compete in mixed martial arts.

A professional since 2003, Daley (42-17-2 MMA, 8-4 BMMA) has made career stops in the UFC, Strikeforce, Bellator, and beyond. After 18 years of weight cuts, his body isn’t responding like it used to. He finds himself in a conundrum. He’s too big for welterweight, yet undersized for middleweight, Daley described.

“One hundred and seventy-five pounds is my weight class,” Daley told MMA Junkie on Wednesday. “You know, 170 pounds is too hard on my body. I’m not getting any younger, so unless the fights are 175 pounds or the fight is for a title, this is going to be my last fight.”

In September, Daley was scheduled to headline a welterweight fight against Derek Anderson, but was forced out due to medical reasons after he missed weight. Daley came in at 172.6 on the scale and was later taken to a hospital.

In July 2017, the Association of Boxing Commissions added super lightweight (163), super welterweight (177), super middleweight (195), and cruiserweight (225) to its list of recognized weight classes.


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Through his experiences, both recent and distant, Daley has become a proponent of adding more divisions to MMA. The opportunity for change is there, to Daley. It’s just a matter of more promotions accepting nontraditional weight classes.

“I’m not the biggest welterweight,” Daley said. “I’ve competed at middleweight earlier on in my career, but I think the jump between weights is a little bit too much. I think, for me anyway, this is my weight. It’s the push from 79 kilos down to 77, which is where I have the most difficulty. … Your body is not supposed to be down at this weight. Ideally, I’d like to keep competing at this weight whether they make a new weight class or not here at Bellator.”

Bellator 257 takes place Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena. The main card airs on Showtime after prelims on MMA Junkie.


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