Welterweight MMA veteran Paul Daley will not compete in the Bellator Season 8 170-pound tournament, and denies reports that being involved in a bar brawl is the reason he cannot travel to the U.S. for competition.
Reports indicated that Daley (30-12) was removed from the tournament following an arrest stemming from a bar fight. Daley, however, disputes fighting in a bar, and said visa issues have prevented him from coming the U.S. in time for the Bellator season.
“I was not involved in a bar brawl. This is 100 percent a false statement,” Daley said on his Facebook page. “I am currently awaiting a decision on my visa, which is not expected until late April [and] means I am unable to compete in the season 8 Bellator tournament, as it starts in January. “
“Semtex,” as Daley is nicknamed, added that he plans on fighting in Europe in the coming months in an effort to stay active while waiting for the decision on his visa status.
Daley’s career highlights include several knockouts of his opponents, but those have shared past headlines with his controversies. Following a loss to Josh Koscheck at UFC 113 in May 2010, Daley was cut from the UFC for hitting Koscheck after the bell. UFC president Dana White said that, as a result, Daley would never fight in the octagon again. In addition to being cut, Daley received a 30-day suspension, according to reports, from the governing body overseeing UFC 113.
Daley last competed in July at Bellator 72 when he earned a first-round technical knockout over Rudy Bears. This came after dropping a March decision to Kazou Misaki in Strikeforce.
Bellator’s welterweight tournament is scheduled to begin Jan. 24, and will take place in Thackerville, Okla., at the WinStar World Casino. The event is part of the MMA promotion’s first broadcast season on Spike TV.
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