Fightlab's Paul 'Semtex' Daley marked his return to Bellator with a hard fought, yet ultimately thunderous victory against Andre Santos. In a card dubbed "The British Invasion", Daley was supposed to be fighting welterweight champion Douglas Lima, but a knee injury forced Lima to pull out and the brave Santos stepped in against the Fightlab fighter.
Despite Daley's explosive power and history of big knockouts, the fight was never going to be a foregone conclusion and Santos showed why he has an impressive MMA record. However, the Brazilian had never come up against an opponent with as much raw power as Daley and it was the Fightlab man who would dominate the fight and secure a convincing points victory.
The fight itself was a spectator's dream, filled with non-stop, hard-hitting action and a selection of takedowns. Daley lived up to his 'Semtex' nickname and delivered a deluge of power shots, which left his opponent decidedly bloodied. Fair play to the Brazilian though as he managed to recover after being wobbled several times by Daley and even secure a number of takedowns.
Daley wasn't quite able to get the finish, but all three Bellator judges agreed that he was the stronger and more impressive of the two fighters and awarded him victory (29-27, 29-28, 29-28).
After the fight, Daley spoke to Jimmy Smith and said the following:
"It feels good. I was a little bit rusty. I spent most of the last year fighting kickboxing. This guy was so tough. It took me time to adjust to fighting MMA again. He wasn't quitting. The guy has a lot of heart. It was a very tough fight to come back to. He was dropping but I just couldn't finish him with the ground and pound. I just couldn't put him away - he's a very very tough guy. I think Scott Coker should get his checkbook out and do 'Fight of the Night' for me and Santos!"
We completely agree, Paul.
All eyes are now on Douglas Lima to see whether he can get back to full fitness and perhaps face Daley later this year where the Bellator welterweight title would be on the line.
The Daley vs Santos fight sparked much praise on social media - especially Twitter - where UFC veteran Dan Henderson tweeted: "#Bellator134 That was the best fight I've seen in awhile. Daley and Santos. Wow!"
This is how the rest of the Bellator 134 main fight card panned out:
Liam McGeary def. Emanuel Newton via unanimous decision (48-46, 48-47, 48-47) Muhammed Lawal def. Cheick Kongo via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28) Linton Vassell def. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 3:18 Brennan Ward def. Curtis Millender via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 1:37[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"] [share title="Share this Post" facebook="true" twitter="true" google_plus="true" linkedin="true" pinterest="true" reddit="true" email="true"][/vc_column][/vc_row]