Paul Daley will be the first to admit that his long awaited return to American promotion Bellator MMA, didn’t quite go to plan.
A very gritty Brazilian by the name of Andre Santos made for a tough return fight and despite picking up the decision win, Daley has decided he wants to take a tune-up fight before a potential clash with welterweight champion Douglas Lima.
The Nottingham based welterweight pushed the pace of the fight, continually looking for a big shot to put Santos down. Daley did manage to repeatedly knockdown his Brazilian counterpart, however to much resilience he was unable to finish the fight in the manner he wanted to.
“It feels good to be back in MMA; I was a little rusty,” said Daley post-fight. “This guy was so tough. I caught him with heavy, wild shots, and normally I would’ve taken my opponent out in the second or third round, but he didn’t quit; he has a ton of heart. It was a great fight.”
The Spirit Dojo fighter attributed his cagey performance to a kickboxing heavy 2014, where he scored six wins, and five by knockout. Daley only fought once in MMA last year, for UK promotion BAMMA, where he scored a devastating left body hook TKO over Marinho Moreira da Rocha at BAMMA 16.
Paul Daley took to his official Facebook page after the event to express dissatisfaction with his performance:
So what does this mean for the future of the 31 year-old Brit?
Obviously Douglas Lima is still recovering from his injury he picked up in training during the run up to Bellator 134. The fight itself is still a huge money draw for the promotion and will likely happen down the line, but for now British fans must wait patiently as Paul Daley looks to re-ignite his brutal style which has for so long made him one of the most feared strikers in the world.