Can Paul 'Semtex' Daley Ever Make It Back To The UFC?
Dana White Defends Decision To Cut Daley
For the foreseeable future, Paul 'Semtex' Daley may get used to life in Strikeforce.
Daley, in one of the stories of the year was banished from the big time of the UFC in May of this year for a lowly sucker punch on Josh Koscheck post-fight at UFC 113, an act which triggered his release from the company.
AT UFC 108 in January of this year, Daley failed to make weight for his Welterweight Divison fight against Dustin Hazelett. The UFC expects one of its star to make weight, especially when you are the co-main event. After this, one would expect that Daley may have been treading on thin ice with the company.
However, in Montreal, on May 8 at UFC 113, Daley's antics sent shock waves around the world as the 'Brit' gave MMA detractors further reason to pour scorn over the industry as he intentionally punched Koscheck moments after the third round ended.
It's now been seven months since Daley's sensational indiscretion at the Bell Centre, but yet, the fans still clamor to his defence, much to the annoyance of UFC President Dana White.
At the questions and answers session at the UFC Fan Expo in London in October, it was obvious that Daley's future status was going to come up, especially when one session was hosted by White himself. Sure enough, a UK native directed the question towards White.
He was ready for it and reiterated what he said following UFC 113 when he announced that Daley was immediately cut from the organization.
An enraged White at the time said: "He's done. I don't give a [expletive] if he's the best 170-pounder in the world. He'll never come back here again.
"There's no excuse for that. These guys are professional athletes. You don't ever hit a guy blatantly after the bell like that, whether you're frustrated or not. It was probably one of the dumbest things I've ever seen because he is a talented guy, and he is one of the best 170-pounders in the world.”
At the Fan Expo in London, the future of the Nottingham based fighter was quickly brought to White's attention. At the Expo, White was not as enraged as he was back in May. The expletives were not present, but the disappointment and frustration was still present in White's tone and voice.
He once again confirmed that Daley would not be back. The banishment stood and it was a lifetime ban, one with no loopholes. Game over.
However, at the UFC 122 questions and answers session, Daley's sucker punch was once again brought before White. Had the outcry from the British people at UFC 120 and the preceding Fan Expo encouraged White to change his mind? Had he a change of heart, something like he had done with the likes of The Ultimate Fighter series seven reject Jesse Taylor or Karo Parisyan, who was also a victim of White's banishment law when he pulled out of UFC 106 the day before the event's weigh-ins?
Taylor got another chance after he was booted from the final of the show, a first for the series. Parisyan made his return to the Octagon last weekend at UFC 123.
But Daley it seems is a different story altogether. For him, there is no second chance, no redemption shot, no way back.
At the 122 questions and answers session, White made his feelings clear yet again on Daley, in an effort to close the case on the subject.
When asked to pick from a trio of Fedor Emelianenko, Nick Diaz and Paul Daley as to who fans are most likely to see and least likely to see in the UFC, White's response said it all.
Most likely to see was Nick Diaz and least likely, amazingly was Daley. In White's own words, there is more chance of the 'Last Emperor', Emelianenko entering the Octagon than there is of Daley stepping back into the big time.
White went on to say that he never had second thoughts about Daley's omission from the organization. Furthermore when Joe Rogan asked White did he ever read Daley's heartfelt and well articulated apology, White simply said no, before delving further into the subject, perhaps for the last time.
“Here's the problem I have with this”, said White. “I explain this to people all the time. First of all, as we continue to grow and get accepted everywhere, there's people out there and there's a lot of misconceptions about this sport. Anyone whose been close to it, like a lot of us have and any of the fans who have watched it for a long time, know what type of people these guys are.
“You just had the opportunity to punch, kick, knee, elbow whatever the hell you wanted to do to this guy for 15 minutes, and as soon as the fight is over and guy is walking around, feeling comfortable or whatever, you are going to walk up to him and sucker punch him in the face because you are feeling frustrated about what happened.”
“It makes me ill”, he continued. “It literally makes me sick and without getting into it here, because it's pretty deep and it's pretty dark.
“I've had some experience with something that happened like that in boxing, that involves Max Kellerman.
“Somebody that can do something like that, I've no respect for that. You just had 15 minutes to fight this guy. You could do whatever you want to do and now that the fight is over, you are just going to walk up and sucker punch him in the face. There's absolutely no excuse what-so-ever for that.”
And with that, not that he had much of a chance to begin with, Daley's chances of a return to the company that made him a household name faded, perhaps forever.
Which is why Daley must make the best of his situation now in Strikeforce. He signed a multi fight deal with the organization not so long ago, but in the future, the Brit must start coming in at the right weight for fights. He again came in overweight for his last fight against Jorge Masvidal at Shark Fights 13: Jardine v Prangley. Once again, Daley was forced to relinquish 10% of his purse.
If he is going to make a name for himself in the Welterweight Divsion of Strikeforce, Daley is going to have to knuckle down and do all the right things. Recently, he's made headlines for all the wrong reasons, allowing the name of the 27-year-old to be tarnished.
To have any chance of returning to the UFC, Daley must clean up his act, start making weight and coming across the right way in public, media sessions and most importantly inside the cage.
Dana White is known to change his mind. Daley may well be one of the best Welterweights in the world when on his game, but getting Dana White to welcome him back could be his greatest challenge ever.