Paul Daley has been campaigning hard for the UFC to resign him, however not all of his efforts have gone to waste. Bellator has signed the former UFC fighter. Daley spoke with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour to give details on the situation.
“After months of rumors about me returning to the States with large American promotions, I’ve finally sealed the deal,” Daley revealed.
“I’m going to be returning to Bellator, working with Scott Coker. He’s a terrific guy. I’ve had some great fights while I was there with him at Strikeforce, and I’ll be headed back this year, smashing some heads, knocking some people out and coming for (Bellator welterweight champion) Douglas Lima.”
“I’m there to be champion,” Daley said of Bellator. “I want to be champion. Whether you’re with Bellator or the UFC, there’s not been a British champion of one of the major promotions, [even] Strikeforce, which is now dead and buried.
“I think I’m going to get a tough first fight, beat that person, and then I think I’ll be in a position to fight Douglas Lima. That’s not contracted, that’s not been discussed or anything. But the way I see it, coming back to Bellator, I think a big win over one of their bigger welterweight stars and then I’ll be challenging Douglas Lima for the belt.”
Daley had been making an argument for returning to the UFC for some time, but now given the change in leadership at Bellator, he believes Bellator will be able to rival the UFC, much like Strikeforce once did.
“Scott Coker is a very cool guy,” he said. “He’s an approachable guy. He gave me some great fights and some great opportunities over at Strikeforce.
“Like I said in the past when I’ve given my opinion on a return to the UFC, it was something that I would have considered. But now, with this new era in Bellator, I can see it becoming the rival that Strikeforce once was to the UFC. Bjorn (Rebney) had his thing, he ran with it. Bellator had a great outlet with Spike and with Viacom and all those guys, but I just don’t think he was able to produce a good enough product or a show that could really stand up to the likes of the UFC.
“But I think Scott, he has the experience, he has the track record. Even though [Strikeforce] was losing a lot of money, the product was strong enough for the UFC to want to buy it. So I think if he can do that with Bellator and I’m the champion of Bellator, I’m happy with it.”