A short-notice change of opponent didn’t phase Paul Daley, who stopped Saad Awad in the second round of Bellator 232’s co-main event.
Stepping up on short-notice at Bellator 232 Saturday night in Connecticut was Saad Awad. Naturally a lightweight, Awad was moving up to take on Paul Daley in the co-main event of the DAZN-exclusive card.
The change in opponents came on just six days notice, and only 22 days removed from Awad’s last fight. Daley was originally scheduled to face Sabah Homasi, who was forced off the card due to injury.
Daley, having been bounced from the welterweight grand prix by rival MVP, entered Bellator 232 off a win over Erick Silva. Awad, meanwhile, had lost three straight bouts.
Awad circled on the outside when the catchweight co-main event got underway. Awad immediately fired off a trio of leg kicks, then fanned on a fourth. He’d let his hands go moments later, but shot for a takedown, fairly wild, after that. Daley easily avoided the takedown, and a second moments later.
Daley then went on the attack, Awad backing up. Awad waved his opponent in, and Daley accepted the invitation, launching a flying knee. Daley then got his own leg kick going, connecting with a crack. Awad, however, landed a clean right, stopping Daley in his tracks for a moment. Daley answered with a high kick. Another flying knee attempt let Awad grab the leg, backing Daley up to the fence — but Awad couldn’t get him down. A reverse elbow late in the round hurt Awad, and not long after he found himself on the ground. Covering up, he’d fire a sneaky elbow as Daley controlled from the back, followed by an upkick just before the buzzer.
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Daley was on the offensive early in the second, but Awad was happy to fire back. Daley then slipped, falling to his back. Awad attempted to take advantage, but Daley was able to get to his feet and break free. Daley went to the body after that, then attacked the leg. A moment later, Daley connected, dropping Awad with a well-timed left to the back of the ear. Awad’s head bounced off the canvas, Daley added in a pair of follow-up strikes, and the ref made the save!
Post-fight, Daley explained that the difference maker in the fight was size, with Awad being a big 155lb’er, and himself being an undersized welterweight, but one who fought his whole career in the 170lb weight class.
Official Result: Paul Daley def. Saad Awad by TKO, Round 2, 1:30