After landing in hospital following a weight cut gone wrong, longtime MMA veteran and current Bellator MMA fighter Paul Daley has announced he’ll be retiring — after one more bout. Daley broke the news Thursday on social media, the same day he had been scheduled to headline Bellator 247, the promotion’s debut on CBS Sports Network.
Daley (42–17–2) was riding a two-fight win streak into the event. But he missed weight for the main event fight against Derek Anderson, and was taken to hospital on a stretcher.
“Semtex” subsequently posted a video, since deleted, insisting that he could have fought, despite experiencing severe cramping and other complications from dehydrating his body. However, that in turn sparked a terse reply from Mike Mazzuli, the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports and Mohegan Sun commission member who oversees Bellator’s European events.
“What he’s doing right now is not good for his body, plain and simple, and he needs to understand that he shouldn’t be doing this,” Mazzulli told MMA Fighting following Daley’s comments Wednesday. “He’s going to have to go up in weight. It amazes me that he thinks it’s OK what he’s doing with his body at his age.”
It seems that those comments, or at least concern from his family, has hit home for Daley.
“Forever a samurai,” Daley wrote in a posting to social media. “But soon we will put the blade to rest. After discussions and careful consideration with my family, it has been decided that my next fight [for Bellator MMA] will be my last. To be fought at a catch weight of 175lbs. Opponent and location to be confirmed. Health before Wealth, and NEVER COMPROMISE YOURSELF.”
No date, or location, has been announced for Daley’s final fight. However, he’ll be leaving quite the legacy. Daley began competing professionally 2003, and has fought for Cage Warriors, Strikeforce, the UFC, and Bellator MMA among others. He won the Cage Rage welterweight title in the U.K. in 2006, and went on to defend the belt several times.
Daley’s UFC career was cut short after a cheap shot incident in 2010. That incident saw “Semtex” lose a title eliminator against Josh Koscheck, then suckerpunch the controversial fighter in the back of the head. The pair were scheduled for a rematch in Bellator in 2016, however, Koscheck withdrew from the fight.