Former UFC bad boy Paul Daley was in action tonight at Shark Fights 13 and after coming in a pound overweight yesterday he looked considerably bigger in the cage than his opponent Jorge Masdival who had moved up from 155lbs to take the fight.
Despite the size advantage Daley was surprisingly cautious in the opening exchanges, while Masdival seemed happy to play defense as he eased his way into the contest, showing good footwork and head movement to steer clear of the UK fighters notorious KO power.
Late in the round Madsival changed things up with a takedown, and in an otherwise close opening battle that certainly gave the judges something to think about.
Masdival continued to show good defensive boxing skills in the second round as Daley appeared to be struggling to step the fight up a gear. More takedowns from Masdival frustrated the Brit and left him facing a tense third round if he wanted to come out on top.
The first half of the final round was indeed a tense stand-up affair, but surprisingly the fight swung in Daley’s favor when Masdival tried to take the fight to the mat. Knowing that going to the canvas again may cost him the fight Daley fought hard to escape and succeeded in scrambling to top position, quickly unleashing a flurry of punches before backing off and motioning for his opponent to stand up.
With the momentum now swinging clearly in Daley’s favor for the first time he looked to seal the deal by going for a takedown of his own up against the cage, and succeeded, once again throwing bombs as the final bell sounded.
It was a close encounter, but the dramatic action in the closing stages secured it for Daley in the judges eyes as he was awarded a unanimous decision victory.
Lots of credit here has to go to Masdival who went the distance with the dangerous and much bigger striker, something that some of Daley’s UFC’s best can’t claim to have done.
With the win Daley’s career record moves to 25-9-2 and a move to Strikeforce could now be a possibility. As for Masdival, he’s still a solid 20-6 and will have done his career no harm with this performance.