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Exclusive: 21 Quick Shot Questions With Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley

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Paul Daley is arguably the most dangerous striker in the welterweight class. Possessing a lethal combination of power, accuracy and speed, the Nottingham, ENG native makes up for his shortcomings on the ground with his superior stand-up skills, often making quick work of his opponents.

Of Daley’s 23 victims, 13 never made it out of the first round, and only three of those made it past the three-minute mark with the former Cage Rage welterweight champion.

Much like coaxing him into a ground fight, tying down the 27-year-old for an interview is nearly impossible, but we managed to secure one round of his time for a rapid-fire Q&A session with the brash British fighter, who is currently in the midst of his training camp for his May 8 showdown with Josh Koscheck at UFC 113.

Here’s what he had to say about a variety of topics including Kos, his lack of dedication to training jiu-jitsu, his Rough House teammates and the reasons he loves to fight:


CP: There seems to be a lot of bad blood between you and Koscheck. Does that stem from something that happened between the two of you at an event, or is it just a result of a general dislike you have for him?

PD: I don’t dislike Koscheck. I think he’s an entertaining guy. The things I mock about him are just schoolboy stuff – just for fun, but the fans love it.

CP: I saw your Photoshop contest thread on the Underground. Have you picked a new hairstyle for Josh, yet?

PD: No. A winner has not been picked yet, but will be soon.

CP: You have referred to Josh as being a Fraggle. Are you planning any Fraggle-related or themed pranks or entrances to the weigh-ins or the fight?

PD: There are no planned Fraggle entrances or nothing like that. I’ll be walking out just relaxed and ready to fight as normal.

CP: Koscheck has said that your fight will likely end the same way as it did against Anthony Johnson if he doesn’t knock you out and that he sees you as a near carbon copy of Johnson. Personally, I think he’s underestimating your striking and the fact that you’ve never been knocked out. What do you think of his "observation"?

PD: I really don’t think much of his opinion; we will see what happens on May 8, as to how much I am like Anthony Johnson.

CP: Your ground game has always been the question mark in your career. How have you been shoring up your weaknesses in that area and what loss made you really dedicate yourself to training in jiu-jitsu?

PD: No I have not been dedicating more time to jiu-jitsu. That isn’t my specialty. I train as much as I did before and I’m comfortable with that. I’m going with my strength, and bringing up my weaknesses, but I don’t want to lose focus on what I do best.

CP: Some guys start fighting on the streets because of the neighborhoods they grow up in, others just like the challenge of squaring off against an opponent. Why did you start fighting?

PD: Because I love the martial arts, and traveling, and the fact I can do both and get paid is a dream come true.

CP: Your goal since you began competing has always been to make it to the UFC. Now that you’ve reached that goal how long do you think until you’re ready for a title shot?

PD: My final goal is not the UFC – it’s only one of them. I am happy where I am at now, and I will become champion here.

CP: Do you prefer fighting in the U.S. or UK?

PD: No preference.

CP: Ring or cage?

PD: No preference.

CP: Does it make it easier fighting someone you don’t like?

PD: No, not necessarily, because if you’re in that cage with me my intentions are the same, whether I like you or not.

CP: How do your parents feel about you fighting?

PD: They like I am doing what I have always wanted to do.

CP: Hardy trains in 10th Planet jiu-jitsu. Have you ever trained the system with him or used the Rubber Guard?

PD: I trained at 10th Planet when they where at the old Bomb Squad gym, back in the day, but I don’t really practice the style now.

CP: You’ve always made yourself accessible to fans, often posting your own cell number and email on forums, especially when you were looking after your own management and sponsorship. How important is it to you to be a fan favorite?

PD: I think it’s very important that, as well as being a fan loving the sport, they have a fighter they admire and look up to and make their hobby larger than just the sport.

CP: I can’t recall ever having seen you rocked in a fight. Have you ever been close to being finished standing?

PD: Not that I can remember – neither in the street or in MMA.

CP: Knowing the sense of humor some of your fellow Brits and training partners like Dan Hardy have, my guess is that when guys aren’t focusing seriously on training, you have a lot of fun in the gym.

PD: We do have a lot of humor in our gym; it’s part of our brotherhood.

CP: What did you spend your first UFC paycheck on?

PD: Paying my coaches, managers, etc.

CP: Are you always going to live and train in the UK?

PD: Who knows? I love to travel so maybe I will find my perfect place abroad. We’ll see what happens in the future. 

CP: What is the worst thing about being a fighter?

PD: The general public thinking I’m some kind of monster or superhero, when I’m just a regular dude.

CP: What is the best thing about being a fighter?

PD: The traveling and the fighting.

CP: What was your job before you became a full-time fighter?

PD: I have had a few jobs, but the one I worked the longest at was when I was in the army.

CP: Was there ever a time when you almost quit MMA?

PD: Yes, because I lost focus. As soon as I regained my focus when I shuffled a few things around, I knew I’d be a fighter for life.

Cagepotato Comments

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Howie214- April 20, 2010 at 10:48 am
SiDeBuRnZ- April 20, 2010 at 9:42 am
Who's Gus Johnson?

Semtex should be in Japanese bukakke porn with the way he loves to explode on people's faces...

common sense- April 20, 2010 at 9:05 am
apparently you didnt see their first fight?? koscheck has nothing for GSP
iDestroy- April 20, 2010 at 8:17 am
Josh Koscheck is going to destroy Paul Daley, then go on to take the belt from GSP. It's gonna be awesome.
Harry Nips- April 20, 2010 at 7:52 am
A call from Gus Johnson? Hmmmm. This wouldn't have anything to do with him going full retard on Saturday night, will it?
Mike Russell- April 20, 2010 at 6:44 am
That's one of the things I'm hoping to bring to the table, Thatsozay -- both regular weekend and evening updates/stories. I'm also going to work at getting more exclusive (and hopefully not email-based) interviews and stories. We're also looking at adding a radio show and chat.Any suggestions are welcomed and appreciated.BTW, stay today tuned today for story I'm writing on a call I received from Gus Johnson last night. You aren't going to want to miss it.
Horror Fighter- April 20, 2010 at 6:16 am
I was going to post that this reads like an e-mail interview, but then I saw Mike explained that it was. You can always spot a written response vs. a verbal one. It's too bad. If Daley could find the time to read an e-mail and write answers back, he should have found 15-30 minutes to talk to CP. An e-mail interview will never be as good as the give-and-take of an actual conversation. Boo Semtex.
ReX13- April 20, 2010 at 6:14 am
M. Russ>> On the plus side, you didn't have to work on deciphering a recorded conversation with Daley and transcribe it into decent north american english.
justscrappin- April 20, 2010 at 5:43 am
There is no way Koscheck is stupid enough to stand with Daley. I see another big double leg...with a rnc finish....or gay man of the two.
BillyBigBalls- April 20, 2010 at 5:19 am
No I have not been dedicating more time to jiu-jitsu.

Daley you are an idiot if you think Koscheck will stand and bang. He is going to take you down at will and dry hump you to submission. Work on your ju-jitsu...
Emopinata- April 20, 2010 at 1:01 am
So little respect for Kos,
too much for Semtex,
Josh has this, and he'll exploit the one dimension of Daley.
robthom- April 20, 2010 at 12:42 am

So you say Mike?!

Edit: Thatsozay vouches for you Mike.
Good luck and I'm hoping for the best.
Thatsozay- April 19, 2010 at 11:05 pm
Are you fools not reading the beginning of the article? It says mike didn't have much time with semtex Therefore they would be quickfire questions. And rothbom, mike is the new senior editor of the potato( replacing? Ben fowlkes) and claims he's going to treat it with loving care, my question is are we going to start getting updates/stories on Sundays? That may seem like an odd question but there never seems to be any stories on Sundays and that just plain sucks.
mthomas- April 19, 2010 at 10:50 pm
Agreed. Fuck this font. Fowlkes would NEVER have used this font. I don't have to listen to you. You're not my real dad!!
monsieurkiwi- April 19, 2010 at 10:22 pm
The question everyone is dying to ask: Why are you using a different font in this article?
FreddyFangers- April 19, 2010 at 10:17 pm
This interview wasnt the best, but I will save judgment until I see more....The post Fowlkes era is off to an iffy start.....
AL_14- April 19, 2010 at 9:53 pm
The winner of this coaches against GSP on TUF, that's just great. So we won't see GSP fight until November? The champions should have to fight 3 times per year unless they're hurt or another unavoidable circumstance. If the UFC gets so many PPV buys when George is on a card you'd think they'd want him fighting more than twice a year.
dranokills- April 19, 2010 at 9:05 pm
what a great fight, 2 people whom I couldn't give a shit about....can both get knocked out? no? damn it!
the only way I won't be happy is if someone doesn't bleed badly and wake up thinking they are batman.
SofaKingNyce- April 19, 2010 at 8:57 pm
Daley 1st round TKO 4:00 - 5:00

Koscheck is a queer
common sense- April 19, 2010 at 8:55 pm
hes good but koscheck may jake shields him. i dont think kos could pull off the sub tho like jake. my 2 cents.
Under Banga- April 19, 2010 at 8:49 pm
plastic explosive
That Guy- April 19, 2010 at 8:12 pm
Lately* it seems the CP interview questions are longer than the answers. Is the interviewer here Elias Whatshisname again? Whoever it is needs to keep it brief, son! This shit is too much bun, not enough beef

* - the post-Fowlkes era
robthom- April 19, 2010 at 8:11 pm
Gooly golly!

Wether or not rwilsonr is a plant, we need more content around here!
Patrick- April 19, 2010 at 7:27 pm
If Alves could kick the ever loving s#it out of Koscheck, I think Daley can.
robthom- April 19, 2010 at 6:14 pm
I've never heard of him.

But admittedly I'm not all knowing.