Raymond Daniels did not have the outcome he wanted at Bellator 245. But rest assured, Peter Stanonik’s night was worse. Far, far worse.
Stanonik was sent to hospital after a pair of low blows, powered by spinning back kicks, landed flush on his groin. Luckily, he’s okay. Still, the image of Stanonik pounding the canvas with his fists, crying in pain, will be a hard one for MMA fans to forget.
Once again, Raymond Daniels had gone viral — this time, for all the wrong reasons. Consider those kicks the low blows heard ’round the world.
The Bellator kickboxing champion, who had been appearing in just his fourth MMA bout, spoke to the media after the fight, which was ruled a no contest due to the accidental fouls.
“I hope my opponent, Peter, is okay. Obviously I never meant to hit anybody, as far as any type of low blows,” Daniels said, acknowledging that the outcome was “definitely not how I wanted the fight to go. In my head, I had an entirely different ending in mind.”
Asked whether he thought the first of the two fouls was, in fact, a low blow, Daniels responded by saying that “the first time I thought it was a body shot, but my foot’s kind of big.” After that, however, there was no question in his mind. “The second time, I definitely hit him in the groin pretty clean. He kicked me, kind of knocked me off-balance which made me miss my target a little bit. It’s unfortunate, as things in 2020 have been, it’s that kind of year. I normally don’t miss my spin kicks like that.”
Daniels referred to his spinning kicks as his grenade launcher, given they’re the hardest strike a fighter can throw. Which makes the strikes that landed all the more wince-inducing. “I hope he’s okay. I never really want to hurt my opponents in a way where they have to be carried off or anything like that,” Daniels reiterated.
For those surprised that Daniels attempted the same kick twice, he noted that “it’s instinctual sometimes. It’s a very open technique.”
“I fight in what’s called a flow state. Even though I think of these things while I’m training, when I’m in there fighting, things will just flow out naturally, without me even having to think about that technique,” he explained. “So that happened instantly, as a response because of the technique that he threw — which, that is the correct counter, it just landed in the wrong spot. I try to to keep it out of my mind not to throw things, because that creates handicaps for myself.”