If you had to sum up Jon Fitch vs. Paul Daley in the Bellator 199 co-main event, it was this: Fitch weathered a first round storm late in the frame, then dragged Daley into deep water. And drowned him.
At Bellator 199 on Saturday, former UFC star Jon Fitch, most recently WSOF/PFL welterweight champion, made his promotional debut. Welcoming Fitch to the fold was Paul Daley, the ever-dangerous British striker. One man would inch closer to a shot at the title, currently held by Canada’s Rory MacDonald.
Not surprisingly, Fitch pressed for the takedown early in round one, pressing Paul Daley up against the fence. Daley employed a wide base and used a whizzer to stay up, but Fitch refused to be denied. Step by step, inch by inch, he pushed, pulled, and dragged Daley to the floor.
Back up, however, Daley then showed why he’s so dangerous, tagging Fitch with a left, then another, blow after blow, swinging away with Fitch stuck with his back against the cage. Fitch showed some decent head movement, however, and managed to escape the round!
In the second, Fitch attacked the body early but again quickly moved in for a takedown, once again dragging Daley down by the fence. Fitch worked from half guard, utilized knee on belly, rained down punches, and methodically wore down the Englishman as the round progressed. Daley didn’t make it easy, attempting to control the wrists, but he simply couldn’t get Fitch off him — and spent the bulk of the round with Fitch all over him.
The third picked up where round two left off. Fitch took Daley down almost immediately, and rode him like a backpack. Strikes from the back weren’t hard enough to secure a finish, but kept Fitch active and stopped the affair from being stood up. Daley clutched at Fitch’s wrists, to no avail. Fitch would control him to the final bell, the fight playing out just as many had expected.
Jon Fitch def. Paul Daley by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-26, 29-26)