In May of 2010, British knockout artist Paul Daley stepped into the cage with Josh Koscheck in a UFC welterweight title eliminator — and a heated grudge match. After being out-wrestled for three rounds by his American foe, Daley walked across the Octagon and sucker-punched Koscheck. This grievous foul earned the Brit his release from the UFC.
Today, Daley is gearing up for a grudge match with fellow British striker Michael Page at Bellator 216, and Page believes Daley might pull a similar stunt after their fight.
“In my opinion, Paul’s a very childish person, a very impulsive person,” Page said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on Monday. (transcript via MMA Mania) “Look at his history, he’s been kicked off the UFC before through that very same impulsive action. Especially when he loses, he’s a very sore loser.”
“Even now my coach is like ‘After the fight, all goes to plan, you have to stay on guard,” he added later. “The fight’s not over because the bell’s done, he’s that kind of person that it may continue. It may spill over.”
Michael Page believes he is firmly in Paul Daley’s head — which means emotions will certainly be running high in this fight.
“I can be frustrating as a fighter, let alone as a person,” Page said. “I can frustrate people, I can get into people’s heads. And I feel like that’s what I was able to do then. He’s trying to backtrack now which I don’t understand. He’s trying to play it all calm, ‘There’s no real issues between us’, trying to play it all Mr. Nice Guy. I don’t get it but it comes across as fake because the second I say anything he bites. There’s an immediate explosion in him. And it is what it is, I think I’m living in his head right now and it’s gonna take its toll through this whole promotional period and then we get to the fight.”
Who do you think will come out on top when Paul Daley and Michael Page fight this weekend? Do you think there’s a possibility of violence after the final bell?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 2/12/2019.