Bellator 199’s Paul Daley had a very public falling out with the promotion and CEO Scott Coker earlier this year. Yet despite his return to the cage on Saturday at Bellator 199, he tells us that nothing’s been hashed out with the promotion.
If you’re wondering why Paul Daley isn’t taking part in the historic Bellator 200 show in his native London, England, later this month, it’s simple. “I was out, from September was my last fight,” he told us at the Bellator 199 media day on Thursday. “I told them to get me a fight, that was it. This was the fight that they gave me. I like to keep active, whether it was waiting an extra three weeks or an extra three days, I wanted to get on the next card I could get on, which was this card.”
And there you have it. Beyond that, Daley’s not the biggest fan of fighting at home. In fact, he prefers to ply his trade on the road, because “I’m more relaxed. It’s got like that holiday vibe to it,” he explained. “I’m not too concerned about everything that’s going on, the weather’s great over here. I’m just enjoying the environment, enjoying fight week.”
One thing he wasn’t enjoying was his relationship with Bellator earlier this year. Daley went so far as to seek his release from the promotion. At the time, ‘Semtex’ said it all boiled down to a lack of respect. Now that he’s fighting again, you might think everything’s been hashed out between him and the Bellator brass, including CEO Scott Coker.
Think again. “There’s been no hashing out,” Daley told us. “I don’t know what [Scott Coker] thinks, because he doesn’t speak to me. I’ve never spoke to him. He knows what I think because I always tell people what I think. But I don’t know what his opinions are. I just gotta to fight. He’s given me a job to do on Saturday night, which is to go out there and fight Jon Fitch, and that’s all I can focus on.”
Despite all the talk of Daley’s fight against Jon Fitch on Saturday being a grappler vs. striker affair leaning in favor of the grappler, Daley isn’t letting the critics get to him. “I don’t have to address anybody, I just gotta go out there and perform,” he said of anyone thinking he’s an easy out for Fitch. “And Saturday night, I’m going to go out there and perform.”
Another controversial topic also came up: the rampage by Conor McGregor just last month. Daley, who was banned for life by the UFC after a cheap shot to Josh Koscheck, is surprisingly understanding of the fact that McGregor hasn’t faced similar punishment.
“It’s a business decision. I understand business,” Daley explained. “Yes it’s hypocritical, yeah maybe he should have been banned for life. But when you’ve elevated a company to a certain level, you’re bringing them money, you’ve got to keep the money coming. It is what it is.”
“I’m a businessman, so I understand you’ve gotta keep the money coming.”
Paul Daley meets Jon Fitch in the co-main event of Saturday’s Bellator 199, live at the SAP Center in San Jose. Check out our full interview with the dangerous striker above.