Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley arrived and left in explosive style at Bellator 170 which saw him deliver a devastating flying kick KO to his opponent Brennan Ward. ‘Semtex’ and his return to form as one of the most feared strikers in Europe sets up some intriguing match ups. Let’s have a look at five of the possibilities.
‘The Red King’ has yet to step foot in the cage and this is possibly not the introduction to Bellator the promotion will want but it’s one Daley is clearly after. He has spoken in the past about being about ‘just the big fights’ and this would definitely qualify. After a spirited call out of MacDonald in his post fight interview Daley said “Rory MacDonald gets in this cage with me, he’s getting knocked the f–k out. MacDonald offered a spirited response.
— Rory MacDonald (@rory_macdonald) January 22, 2017
Michael ‘Venom‘ Page
Someone else who was quick to respond via social media was Michael Page. After witnessing Daley’s victory he quipped “Interesting I think someone has been studying my videos.” Page has long been criticised for seemingly being handed easy opponents by the promotion. with Bellator set to return to London this year what fitting way to ensure fans get what they have been calling for. Page has made no secret of his willingness to fight Daley and with Page coming of a less than stellar performance in his last fight this will be just the fight to make as Daley has seldom been in a boring clash.
The current title holder has a win over Daley, the bout, by Daley’s own account was not a true representation of what he is truly capable of in a championship fight. This clash would undoubtably give Daley a shot at redemption and validate his search to live up to his previous ‘belt collector’ aspirations. Lima represents an intriguing match up as it would be testing both on a physiological level and psychological level given how emphatic a win Lima was able to secure.
Benson ‘Smooth‘ Henderson
Whilst Ben Henderson has bounced between weight classes in the past this match up represents the big name, big money fights that Daley seeks. ‘Semtex’has previously mentioned that a match up with ‘Smooth’interests him and as such this represents an ideal opportunity to prove as he has often said he can mix it up with the UFC’s best.
Whilst still signed to the UFC and with no official word of his release Thatch would make for a fun fight given his striking ability. After an unfortunate run in the UFC Thatch is now staring at four back to back losses all via submission. It’s obvious that his stand up game is outstanding and it would make for war that would be contested on their feet. Yes it would be a harsh introduction to Bellator but it represents an opportunity for perhaps longer cage time for Daley something which is always good to see but also a massive scalp for Thatch who at this point is badly in need of a meaningful win.