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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.


  1. D Piddy Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 03:39

    I see Daley making Koscheck do the stanky leg knockout dance in this one.
  2. Robocop Didnt Tap Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 03:42

    Yeah, I'm putting a couple hundred on Daley in this one. I just hope Koscheck doesn't lay on him for 3 rounds en route to a boring decision.
  3. nicer Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 03:44

  4. Get Off Me Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 03:46

    @DPiddy Exactly @RDT Don't jinx it man Along with the Belcher fight, I can't see this one going the distance. I am pretty much paying for tickets to see Daley slap the mop off Koschecks head.
  5. Mr_Misanthropy Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 03:49

    Who the heck is this Paul Dooley character and what's with his strange obsession with kid's puppets? I hope he focuses on training and not stand up comedy decause I've heard that Jess Kocheseck character is a pretty riley grappler. I think cage-rage is a condition that afflicts zoo animals and convicts but I couldn't find anything about it on wikipedia. Still seems kind of difficult to contend for belts in that though...
  6. ghostboner Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 03:51

    I'll take Kos.
  7. shitbag Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 03:54

    What the fuck is a semtex?
  8. Mr_Misanthropy Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 03:58

    I believe it has something to do with prophylactics...
  9. AL_14 Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 04:01

    I remember another cocky Brit that thought he could entirely rely on his stand-up and skip the ground game when he was facing an elite grappler. Didn't work out too well for him.
  10. El Guapo Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 04:06

    Where's the Potato Index for the Strikeforce event?? Wanna see how far Aoki dropped and if we've colonized Japan yet.. Arigato Biiiiatch!
  11. El Guapo Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 04:08

    Semtex is a... uhhh.. it's a...
  12. fatbellyfrank Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 04:17

    Semtex It's plastic explosive's, used and recommended by terrorists world wide,and if yer trolling , oh well you got me 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 dedicate 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 Hmmm, that kind of thinking can bite you in the ass, I wanna see Koshchek get the shit smacked out of him, but this guy maybe a little too cocky. Hopefully be a decent scrap
  13. NickDiazSaysSmokeWeedBitch Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 04:18

    daley gonna ktfo him
  14. ReX13 Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 04:27

    El Guapo>> Apparently, Ben is gonna wait until after WEC this weekend and post the mother of all Potato Indices. Or not.
  15. cecils_pupils Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 04:54

    Koscheck needs to get KTFO'd in this fight. C'mon Paul, make Kos your bitch!
  16. thekid Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 04:56

    A semtex is a sticky grenade lol never played modern warfare 2 i see
  17. robthom Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 05:03

    "Paul Daley is arguably the most dangerous striker in the welterweight class..." And dont forget arguably the most one dimensional. Every substantial win offset by getting submitted by anybody with submission skills like Nick Thompson, Jake Shields, Azereado and kitouka.
  18. RwilsonR Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 05:04

    Not your best interview work CP. Partly it's Daley's fault, since he doesn't seem to offer much, but some of the questions were outright shut down. CP: There seems to be a lot of bad blood between you and Koscheck. PD: I don’t dislike Koscheck. CP: ...what loss made you really dedicate yourself to training in jiu-jitsu? PD: No I have not been dedicating more time to jiu-jitsu. CP: Your goal... has always been to make it to the UFC. PD: My final goal is not the UFC. I'm not trying to be too critical, but he kind of deflated some of the questions and didn't make for the most interesting interview.
  19. Mike Russell Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 05:16

     @RwilsonR I agree. This is why I HATE doing email interviews. The flow of a phone or face-to-face is lost and you don't have the opportunity to do follow-up questions and the interviewee does the bare minimum when answering because they have to type out their answers.
  20. RwilsonR Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 05:45

    Didn't mean to beat up on your interview Mike. I just had to sit and wait for the page to load on my iphone while sitting at the airport, and when it finally does and I get to read what Daley has to say, I'm thinking to myself, "He didn't say shit! Come one, Daley, at least one fucking interesting thing would be nice." But I feel for you on doing it over email.
  21. robthom Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 06:06

    Who is Mike Russel? Are we just a waylay station for wild MMA "insiders" these days?
  22. RockSteady Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 06:09

    I seriously doubt Daley doesn't have a ground game/jiu-jitsu; i think he knows that Koscheck is checkin him out be it in highlights or interviews. I think Daley is baiting Koscheck into THINKING he has nothing for him on the ground. At least i fucking hope so, or else we'll have Hardy vs GSP all over again, including the same lead-up hype: "one punch is all i need..." sorry, i rambled
  23. robthom Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 06:14

    I've never heard of him. But admittedly I'm not all knowing.
  24. Patrick Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 07:27

    If Alves could kick the ever loving s#it out of Koscheck, I think Daley can.
  25. robthom Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 08:11

    Gooly golly! Wether or not rwilsonr is a plant, we need more content around here!
  26. That Guy Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 08:12

    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
  27. Under Banga Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 08:49

    plastic explosive
  28. common sense Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 08:55

    hes good but koscheck may jake shields him. i dont think kos could pull off the sub tho like jake. my 2 cents.
  29. SofaKingNyce Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 08:57

    Daley 1st round TKO 4:00 - 5:00 Koscheck is a queer
  30. dranokills Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 09:05

    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.
  31. AL_14 Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 09:53

    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.
  32. FreddyFangers Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 10:17

    This interview wasnt the best, but I will save judgment until I see more....The post Fowlkes era is off to an iffy start.....
  33. monsieurkiwi Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 10:22

    The question everyone is dying to ask: Why are you using a different font in this article?
  34. mthomas Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 10:50

    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!!
  35. Thatsozay Says:

    Mon, 04/19/10 - 11:05

    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.
  36. robthom Says:

    Tue, 04/20/10 - 12:42

    Mike... So you say Mike?! Edit: Thatsozay vouches for you Mike. Good luck and I'm hoping for the best.
  37. Emopinata Says:

    Tue, 04/20/10 - 01:01

    So little respect for Kos, too much for Semtex, Josh has this, and he'll exploit the one dimension of Daley.
  38. BillyBigBalls Says:

    Tue, 04/20/10 - 05:19

    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...
  39. justscrappin Says:

    Tue, 04/20/10 - 05:43

    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.
  40. ReX13 Says:

    Tue, 04/20/10 - 06:14

    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.
  41. Horror Fighter Says:

    Tue, 04/20/10 - 06:16

    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.
  42. Mike Russell Says:

    Tue, 04/20/10 - 06:44

    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.
  43. Harry Nips Says:

    Tue, 04/20/10 - 07:52

    A call from Gus Johnson? Hmmmm. This wouldn't have anything to do with him going full retard on Saturday night, will it?
  44. iDestroy Says:

    Tue, 04/20/10 - 08:17

    Josh Koscheck is going to destroy Paul Daley, then go on to take the belt from GSP. It's gonna be awesome.
  45. common sense Says:

    Tue, 04/20/10 - 09:05

    apparently you didnt see their first fight?? koscheck has nothing for GSP
  46. SiDeBuRnZ Says:

    Tue, 04/20/10 - 09:42

    Who's Gus Johnson? Semtex should be in Japanese bukakke porn with the way he loves to explode on people's faces... HOLLA!
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