It’s likely that there’s few people who will be more disappointed than Strikeforce’s Paul Daley that the promotion has been purchased by the UFC.
Only a year ago Daley was a rising star in the UFC bidding for a title shot at 170lbs, but a moment of madness at UFC 113 that saw him throw a suckerpunch at his opponent Josh Koscheck after the fight was over resulted in him being thrown out of the promotion.
Since then Daley has continued to win fights, and worked his way up to No.1 contention in Strikeforce’s welterweight division after signing for them late last year, but all the while UFC president Dana White has been adamant that regardless of how he performs, the UK fighter will never be allowed back in the UFC.
That leaves Daley in a rather awkward position now that the UFC now owns Strikeforce, though White has confirmed his existing contract will be honored.
Daley is never one to hold back on his feelings, and upon hearing today’s news of the buyout he reacted angrily on the UG forum and threatened to boycott his upcoming fight with Nick Diaz in Strikeforce’s next big event on April 9th.
“Business as usual, what if i dont wanna fight for DANA WHITE/ZUFFA?……Dana white bans me for life from the UFC, Then buys STRIKEFORCE, and thinks im still gonna be EASY and fight on one of the most anticipated fights of the year (vs Diaz)? Which will no doubt make ZUFFA/Dana White money.
Daley vs Diaz still on?…..Someone better holla at my manager real quick.”
later he posted another message as he continued to deliberate on what to do next.
“Not sure what im gonna do right now, honestly…fight for the Strikeforce and be Strikeforce champ, put money in ZUFFA/Dana Whites pockets? Or fight here in the UK for BAMMA, who appreciate my brand, and have my loyal fans, family and media support me. For real.”
The reality is that Daley is doing himself no favors with this kind of public outburst. He’s already made life difficult for himself by over-reacting in the Octagon against Koscheck, and he could be further damaging his career by his latest remarks aimed at his new employers.
Daley has a good thing going with Strikeforce for the time being, and the reality is there’s not a whole lot of other options out there for him right now if he was to leave. UK promotion BAMMA is somewhat of a back-up option, but that’s still a fledgling organization and a considerable step down from where he is now.
Meanwhile the other destination of choice for freelance MMA fighters, Japan is currently suffering badly, with Sengoku about to collapse and DREAM not far behind them.
Daley shoots from the hip though, and the damage may already have been done.