Paul Daley (39-14-2) will be competing against Rory MacDonald (18-4) in what most observe as a Bellator welterweight title eliminator. While most of us are intrigued by the thought of seeing MacDonald compete for the first time in Bellator, Paul Daley, for the most part, has seemingly gone unnoticed as his opponent.
Paul Daley has been around the sport for the better part of a decade, and if his last performance was any indication, it’s that the 33-year old seems to be in his fighting prime. Still, the rise of fellow Londoner Michael “Venom” Page has dampened his overall notoriety in recent times.
Outside of the most loyal, hardcore Bellator fans, his following has largely dwindled since tearing it up with Nick Diaz and current UFC welterweight champion Tyrone Woodley back in Strikeforce. It seemed that Paul Daley would have continued his career unnoticed at Bellator; but, with the acquisition of Rory MacDonald among other high-level talent that Scott Coker has added to the roster, Daley has landed to date the fight of his career.
Known for his aggressively pressurizing kickboxing style, if “Semtex” is involved, the fight is sure to be an exciting one.
The problem that plagues Paul is that while he is a deadly striker with an impressive takedown defense, he hasn’e been able to put together victories against the marquee names he’s faced throughout his career. Jake Shields, Josh Koscheck, Nick Diaz and Tyron Woodley have all managed to cause issues for Daley.
In my opinion, there’s no shame in losing to these fighters. However, these losses are likely why he’s not regarded better. It’s also important to note that he does have a win over potential welterweight title challenger Jorge Masvidal.
His release from the UFC was very controversial, as he was 2-1 in the UFC and constantly talked about being a challenger to GSP’s welterweight title. Of course his cheap shot after the bell on Koscheck as well as his harsh ban imposed by Dana White did not help him. Nonetheless, his performances since do warrant attention.
He now will face opposite Rory MacDonald this Friday night and if he gets a win, he could potentially be the most talked about welterweight in the world. He brings many dangerous weapons to the table that may put Rory off his game, but putting all these skills together will be the question going into this contest.
This is a chance to finally be noticed by the masses in his own counrty, in front of his own fans.
If he earns the win, he’s likely to get a next title shot, and might finally have his work truly recognized. However, should he lose, he will always be known as a fun fighter who never truly reached the top.
This is a fight that I am looking forward to, and I can see it going either way.
How do you see this fight going? Will Daley surprise us all? Or will MacDonald’s experience with high-level opposition take over?