(And to think, if only Big Dan was at Paul’s side, this whole situation might have been avoided.)
Good morning, Potato Nation. How was your Christmas? I see that at least a few of you spent it here, arguing about racism, or incomprehensibly ranting about women’s rights, and we thank you for the repeated page views. But if you think you were the only ones whose stockings were stuffed with a bit of vitriol this holiday season, think again, because UFC castaway and all around good guy Paul “Semtex” Daley apparently spent his beating the Christmas spirit out of some local bar patrons.
Sound familiar? According to ESPN’s Josh Gross, Daley has not only been arrested on assault charges stemming from a recent bar fight in his native London, but has been barred from entering the United States until the situation is resolved. This of course means that he will not be participating in Bellator’s upcoming welterweight tournament, although his original opponent, War Machine, had already suffered a leg injury that forced him to postpone their scheduled fight 4 to 6 months. We would say that this is a rather unfortunate turn of events for Bellator, but shit happens when you stack your roster with ex-cons and guys who were thrown out of the UFC for being hotheaded sore losers.
Daley — who could face up to two years in prison if convicted — has yet to make an official statement on the issue, but simply posted the following on the UG:
Rumours. However it seems my next fight will not be for Bellator.
And indeed, Daley has already been booked in the headlining matchup of Cage Contender 16 in Dublin, Ireland on February 23rd. An opponent has yet to be named.
From Daley’s Facebook:
It’s seems as though a mass press release has gone out to the MMA media, stating I was involved in a bar brawl, arrested, and cannot obtain a P-1 visa to compete in the USA.
…I am currently awaiting a decision on my visa, which is not expected until late April. Which means i am unable to compete in the season 8 Bellator tournament, as it starts in January.
I will be fighting in Europe in the coming months, so I am able to stay active while awaiting a decision on my visa status.
I was not involved in a bar brawl. This is 100% a false statement.
While we’re not prepared (or informed) enough to call Daley a liar, something definitely smells fishy here. For starters, Daley has competed several times in the US before without Visa issues, so the fact that he’s suddenly run into said issues cannot mean anything positive. And as one person stated on Daley’s Facebook, where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire. But again, if we’re using Chad Mendes as a measuring stick, then the charges against Daley may very well have been exaggerated by the media sources who originally reported it. On the other hand, note that Daley said he was never involved in a bar brawl, NOT that he wasn’t facing assault charges.
Daley’s manager, Wad Alameddine, also stated that Paul plans on fighting for Bellator following his February fight, but we will keep you informed as details are made available.