Yesterday afternoon, at a press conference in New York City, Bellator President Scott Coker announced the names of the fighters competing in Bellator’s anticipated welterweight Grand Prix. Yet there was one name that seemed to be missing: Paul Daley.
Though Coker assured that he was working on getting Daley involved in the tournament — perhaps even as alternate — he could not confirm the British knockout artist’s involvement at the time.
Apparently, Daley has every intention of joining this welterweight Grand Prix. He’s waiting to get a deal done, and is hoping to meet his arch rival Michael “Venom” Page in the tournament’s first round.
Today Paul #Semtex Daley assured me he’s still up for meeting @Michaelpage247 “I have every intention of being in the tournament, I’m pretty sure that Michael Page will be my first fight, just hope we can get the deal done” pic.twitter.com/F2xJ2ozGNS
— Michael Morgan (@mikewhoatv) July 18, 2018
“I have every intention of being in the tournament,” Daley told WhoaTV’s Michael Morgan shortly after the press conference in NYC. “I’m pretty sure that Michael Page will be my first fight, just hope we can get the deal done”
If Daley is added to the tournament, he’ll join Michael Page, Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald, former champion Douglas Lima, former champion Andrey Koreshkov, former UFC title challenger Jon Fitch, former UFC contender Lorenz Larkin, promising prospect Ed Ruth, and grappling ace Neiman Gracie. Ukrainian talent Yaroslav Amosov has also been linked to the tournament, most likely as an alternate.
The first tournament bout goes down on September 29, when Bellator debuts on its new streaming home DAZN, as Lima and Koreshkov collide in a tie-breaking trilogy fight. This card will also feature a showdown between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Wanderlei Silva, and a middleweight title fight between Gegard Mousasi and the welterweight champ MacDonald. Whether MacDonald wins or loses this fight, he will then drop back down to welterweight to compete in the tournament.
Do you think Bellator can entice Paul Daley into the welterweight Grand Prix? Given that the British knockout artist has defeated Larkin, and lost to MacDonald, Lima and Fitch, how do you think he’d perform?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/17/2018.