According to MMA Fighting, British welterweight Paul Daley has been unconditionally released from Bellator as a result of recent legal issues.
Despite initial reports that Daley was acquitted of an assault charge, ‘Semtex’ was in fact found guilty according to reports, but received no jail time, having plead guilty to one count of assault by beating, and two counts of obstructing or resisting a constable in executing their duties.
As expected, the guilty verdict would cause VISA issues of which Bellator explained, likely blocking the British striker from entering the United States.
The shocking release comes less than a week after Daley claimed swift victory at Cage Warriors 57, extending his current run of four consecutive victories by way of KO/TKO. In a post-fight interview with MMA Plus, Daley explained his excitement at returning to Bellator. See the interview below.
Maiquel Falcao also found himself dropped from the promotion, following a well publicised CCTV brawl in the US, with Falcao seemingly initiating the clash that resulted in team mate Kaue Mena being knocked into a coma.
Bellator director of communications Anthony Mazzuca explained:
“We examine each situation on a case by case basis,” he said, “and, in these two instances, the violent nature of both situations has led to our decision to release both fighters from the organization. We recently received and reviewed the real documents in Daley’s situation, which made clear that he was not in fact cleared, but was actually convicted of both assault by beating and obstructing an officer.
“And, in Maiquel’s situation the video speaks for itself,” he continued. “After reviewing the footage and speaking to the parties involved, including Maiquel and his former manager and trainer Marcelo Brigadeiro, we felt this was the appropriate decision. Maiquel was nothing but a professional during his time with Bellator, but these recent developments have prevented us from keeping Maiquel with the organization.”
“Both fighters are now able to fight wherever they wish and for whoever they wish,” he said. “We have retained no matching rights to either fighter. We wish them the best in their future endeavours.”
In response to the news, Daley provided a statement of his own: “Yes, i have been released by Bellator, due to visa issues resulting from previous offences. Although my application for a new visa WAS NOT DENIED, I am assuming the Bellator legal team thought it would not be possible for me to obtain one, in light of recent events.
I apologies to all the fans/supporters, that wanted me to win the Bellator tournament and challenge the boring Ben Arsken for the title….this is not gonna happen now, but we have Martin Stapleton and Rob Cfour Sinclair in Bellator, representing the UK, both I’m sure will do a great job.
I am currently in talks with a number of organisations, and have about half a dozen contracts already in my inbox……..but I will take my time, and read through them all. The whole situation has been difficult, but my release now allows easier negotiation with different organisations.”
CREDIT Photo: Mark Blundell