Remember when we said that Bellator’s roster is “becoming a dumping ground for disgraced former Zuffa prospects“? (We were specifically talking about heavyweights then, but still.) The latest word out of Rebneyville is that welterweight bad boy Paul Daley — who had recently asked to be released from his Strikeforce contract because they weren’t giving him enough fights — has been signed by Bellator. Daley’s promotional debut will take place at Bellator 72, July 20th at the University of South Florida’s Sun Dome in Tampa. Said Bjorn Rebney via press release:
“I’ve been a Semtex fan for years. He’s an incredibly explosive fighter who is magic to watch inside the cage. So, when the opportunity presented itself to join forces with Paul, it was a simple decision to make. Paul’s one of those fighters I’ve always intentionally stayed home to watch and now I can watch him cageside at Bellator.”
Though Rebney deserves to be excited about signing a well-known knockout artist like Daley, two factors might stall out Semtex’s success in the Bellator cage:
1) Missing weight, which he’s unfortunately done four times since 2010. As we’ve seen during their most recent season, Bellator has a zero-tolerance policy for tournament fighters blowing it on the scale. And…
2) Dealing with wrestlers (see his losses to Josh Koscheck and Tyron Woodley). If Paul was pissed off at being blanketed by Koscheck for three rounds, oh man, just wait until he finds out about Ben Askren.
Daley most recently dropped a split-decision to Kazuo Misaki at Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey in March, which was his third consecutive loss under the Strikeforce banner. Prior to the Misaki fight, he had won a pair of decisions last fall over Jordan Radev (at BAMMA 7) and Luigi Fioravanti (at Ringside MMA 12). Any suggestions for Daley’s first opponent in Bellator?