Paul "Semtex" Daley's Bellator 170 fight against Brennan Ward may have been the co-main event, but by the end of the 17 fight night, it was the only match people were talking about.
Daley has made a name for himself with his barrage of quick attack moves, and his 2:27 knockout of Ward was an example of his ability to fly through the air with a sudden attack.
Ward, a former collegiate division III All-American wrestler, attempted to shoot on Daley. The Englishman stood his ground and wouldn't let the wrestler take him to the mat.
Daley countered, and the welterweight unleashed a vicious spinning elbow that backed Ward away from him before launching himself at his opponent; striking the American as he ducked into the blow. Ward immediately fell to the mat, and was soon stretchered out, a victim of the most electrifying move in mixed martial arts. The flying knee is to MMA what the Hail Mary touchdown pass is to football: a sudden, dramatic ending.
Daley's January 21st knockout of Ward was so dramatic, so timely, so sensational, that it earned the fighter MMA Junkie's Knockout of the Month Award for January 2017. Not a bad way to start the year, and as they say, start as you mean to continue.
The knockout win was the 29th by the Englishman. With only two wins by submission, Daley is a fighter that prefers to stand and deliver. In fact, it has been nearly seven years since Daley won with a submission hold. The last time came in July 2010. Even then, the win was down more to Daley's aggressive attack than a punishing hold to stretch his opponent.
Since 2015, Daley has fought for Bellator MMA and has made the company his home. While the British hitman is chasing Bellator Welterweight champion Douglas Lima, the man that knocked Daley out of the eliminator tournament in July 2016, Daley also has his eyes on another fighter.
Following his knockout win over Ward at the Bellator 170 event in Inglewood, California, Daley called out former UFC Welterweight title contender Rory MacDonald.
"I'm looking at everybody, marquee names and champions. Rory MacDonald has come over from the UFC and thinks he can do his (expletive) over here. It ain’t going to happen. Rory MacDonald gets in this cage with me, he’s getting knocked the (expletive) out,” Daley stated.
MacDonald, who has seven career knockouts and six submission wins, was voted as the fifth best welterweight in January by Sherdog. Daley's challenge to the fighter would see two of MMA's top welterweights clash and would be a big money fight for the company.
The next four Bellator cards have been set with February and March being the next opportunity for either fighter to take to the cage. MacDonald signed his Bellator contract in August of 2016, and with three of the fight cards still being confirmed, the former UFC man could finally make his debut.
A big fight between the two could be on the cards in late spring or early summer, and with Daley's penchant for knocking out opponents, it would be a headline affair.
Paul Daley vs MVP? Battle of UK's best strikers?
There has been some update from our sources within the MMA community that Bellator is putting up a blockbuster "Battle of Britain" welterweight clash with Michael Page (12-0) set to take on Paul Daley (39-14-2) in what would be one of the biggest all-British MMA fights of all time held on home soil.
The 29-year-old Page who recently called out Paul Daley on Twitter is unbeaten as a professional and has seven straight victories under the Bellator banner. Page recently defeated Fernando Gonzalez at Bellator 165 via split decision in November and now people are calling for him to face tougher well rounded fighters, which he has been looking for now. Paul Daley has yet to decide and sign a fight with both Rory Mcdonald or Michael Venom Page.
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