Last night, Bellator MMA returned to San Jose, California with the stacked Bellator 183. The card was headlined by a compelling lightweight showdown between former UFC and WEC champ Benson Henderson and long-time Bellator lightweight contender Patricky “Pitbull” Freire. It’s arguable that the most anticipated feature of the card, however, was the co-main event, which pitted brick-fisted British puncher Paul Daley against former top-10 UFC welterweight Lorenz Larkin.
As expected, this was a fun fight, during which both men landed plenty of the heavy artillery for which they’re known. In the end, however, the underdog Daley added yet another blistering knockout to his highlight reel, rattling Larkin with a spinning back-fist, and sending him careening to the canvas with a left hook.
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) September 24, 2017
“The fight went as planned. I felt great and I knew how this would end,” Paul Daley told cage-side commentator Jimmy Smith after the fight. “Lorenz Larkin was acting very uncharacteristically leading up to the fight and when I saw all of his antics and what not, I knew the fight would only end one way and that’s with him flat on the canvas.”
While the fight might have gone exactly how Daley envisioned it, it was definitely a surprise to many members of the MMA community. See some of the best reactions to this fight below:
— Michael Chandler (@MikeChandlerMMA) September 24, 2017
— Mike Jackson, Esq. (@TheTruthJackson) September 24, 2017
That hook. Wow.
— Jon Fitch (@jonfitchdotnet) September 24, 2017
A top 10 UFC WW is now 0-2 in the Bellator WW division😧 but WWs outside the UFC suck.
— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) September 24, 2017
Wowwwwwwwww 👊🏼👊🏼👊🏼 Paul Daley
— Antonio Pezao Silva (@BigfootSilva) September 24, 2017
I would pay to watch Daley vs MVP
— Gerald Harris (@GHurricane) September 24, 2017
Post-fight, Daley once again called for a fight with British rival Michael “Venom” Page. Given that Page recently signed with David Haye’s boxing promotion, however, it’s hard to say whether this fight actually happens.
With this win over Larkin, Daley rebounds from a decisive decision loss to Rory MacDonald, and reaffirms himself as one of Bellator’s top welterweights. Unfortunately, he’s now lost to both MacDonald and Douglas Lima, who battle for welterweight gold this January.
Who do you want to see Paul Daley fight next?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 9/24/2017.