At the Bellator London press conference earlier today, focus was shifted from the big fight announcements as the rivalry between Paul Daley and MVP, Micheal “Venom” Page continued to flourish despite there being no fight between them in the immediate future.
With the Bellator London main event being announced, Daley will face former UFC star and arguably one of the biggest names on the Bellator roster, Rory MacDonald as the Canadian makes his long-awaited promotional debut in a welterweight title eliminator to see who will next face current champion Douglas Lima.
Daley-MVP rivalry overshadows MacDonald announcement
With MVP having campaigned for a fight with Daley on social media over the last few days, the topic would not go away despite the headline fight announcement and the clear tension and dislike between the two British fighters would continuously take over with Bellator President Scott Coker sitting in the middle.
From the off, the two would take snipes at each other with MVP immediately calling Daley “Paula” and stating he wanted Daley to have stepped up and taken the fight he was proposing for Bellator London.
“It wouldn’t be me stepping up, it would be him,” Daley retorted. “When Michael was wearing trousers and fighting for orange juice and sandwiches, I was earning the same purse he is earning now.”
“Cyborg should have had a walking stick or a Zimmer frame”
This was to start the entertaining bickering between every question with MVP bringing up Daley’s defeat where he fell short against Lima last year in London. Despite Page saying “Paula” over and over again to drown out “Semtex,” it was again him with the more cutting barbs.
“You’ve never fought a champion, you’ve been fighting guys coming out of retirement. I should have helped Cyborg (Santos) into the cage for that fight,” Daley responded. “He should have had a walking stick or a Zimmer frame.”
With Daley denying any knowledge of the relentless use of social media to goad him over the past few days, MVP wouldn’t have any of it and insisted he felt ‘disrespected’ by his former friend having said things behind his back.
With Daley being asked about the real reasons for the recent beef between them, he would say that MVP ‘wants what he has, basically’ and would compare him to Justin Bieber due to his internet fan base.
Daley defends against “feminine” picture accusations
With MVP claiming to have a photo of Daley showing him as “looking rather feminine” to explain where the “Paula” nickname came from, the former UFC welterweight would quickly interject to spare his blushes.
“I was dressed up as Whoopi Goldberg,” exclaimed Daley to the laughing audience and an amused Coker. “Most black men can pass for Whoopi Goldberg with some dreadlocks man, it’s nothing special.
“It was a school dress up day and my mum didn’t have the money for Batman or Superman, she did have a dreadlock wig though and she did have a few dresses so I thought sh-t I’ll go as Whoopi Goldberg. There’s only one picture out there but if you look hard, you’ll find it”
From there, it was Daley’s turn to bring up a potentially embarrassing bit of information as he revealed his welterweight counterpart was ducking the top guys in the division including the man he just knocked out, Brennan Ward.
“He needs a breakout fight. He’s undefeated because he’s been fighting bums. I’d be undefeated if I was fighting the guys he was fighting,” expressed Daley.
“He’s been running from Brennan Ward for about two years, then they offered me the fight and I said I’ll fight the guy just to save time. That was the fight that was given to you. You’re scared of Brennan Ward. They’re the kind of guys you need to fight.
“You don’t want this fight. Trust me,” finished an incensed Daley
Tempers flared as MVP’s sunglasses came off with the back and forth becoming increasingly heated with both men talking over each other and shouting with Coker having to intervene to move the press conference along and stop it descending into chaos.
With order maintained, the press conference would continue more smoothly as both fighters fielded relevant questions to the upcoming Bellator London.
When questioned on if and when this fight happens, would it happen in London, Coker insisted that not only would that be the case, but that we could also see the match-up before the end of 2017.
“That fight would just make sense here, so I would say yes,” said Coker.
“There will be time. We’re going to throw 20 events this year so this fight could happen sometime, maybe in 2017 so it might not be that far away.”