Paul “Semtex” Daley is as talented a fighter as he is mercurial a personality, so it should be no surprise that he manages to court some controversy even while he can’t decide whether he wants to retire or fight. The British welterweight has oscillated between the two in recent months, but came back to easily dispatch Bojan Kosednar in Cage Warriors this weekend.
Apparently, Pro Elite (which has a contract with Daley) was unhappy about the situation and tried to get Daley to agree to a fight on Elite XC’s July 26 show in Stockton, Ca. The problem is that Daley says they offered him a fight with Rory Markham, the ex-IFL slugger who is fighting on the UFC’s July 19 show. Confused yet? Good. Let’s see if Daley can sort it out for us:
“They [Pro Elite] did offer me a fight on the July 26th card against Rory Markham, who we all know has signed with the UFC, so I thought it was a ploy to stop me fighting on Cage Warriors. I felt that if I had accepted the fight, they would have just cancelled on me.”
“A lot of other guys had fought twice in the same month for two different promotions, a non-Pro Elite and then a Pro Elite event – I said look, I’ll fight July 12th and I’ll fight July 26th, not a problem. I feel confident in this fight and all being well I would get out uninjured and with a victory and I’d fly straight to America. They didn’t want to hear any of that.”
“If I had been Nick Diaz, it wouldn’t have been a problem. The guy smokes weed, starts riots on TV, doesn’t make weight, fights whoever the fuck he wants, and there’s no problem there. It’s a bit of a piss-take really.”
Oh man, he just said something about Nick Diaz that could accurately be described as negative. That’s the MMA equivalent of saying “Beetlejuice” three times. You just know Diaz is going to pop up out of nowhere with a semi-intelligible response any minute now.
All kidding aside, if Pro Elite really did offer Daley a fight with an opponent who already signed with a rival promotion, that’s pretty strange. Not only is it negotiating in bad faith to try and get him to agree to a fight that they know won’t happen, it’s also an insult to Daley’s intelligence to assume that he wouldn’t figure it out.
Daley sounds generally unhappy with Pro Elite as whole, saying that he signed with them because he thought they were putting the fighters first, but so far his dealings with them have been “a major problem.”
Part of the problem may lie with Daley’s off-again, on-again relationship with pro fighting itself, but here again we see the issues that arise with non-exclusive arrangements. You let Nick Diaz go off and fight in Dream and now everyone wants to do it.