After 64 professional fights — and that’s not even counting his kickboxing record — veteran welterweight Paul Daley hung up the gloves following Bellator 281 on Friday.
That he did so at home in London, England, and was able to cap off his career with another knockout in a thrilling come-from-behind win, made it all the more special.
After standing toe-to-toe with Semtex for all of 30 seconds, Giacomo went with the tried and true gameplan of tying Daley up, and hunting for a takedown against the fence. Daley fought him off for a while; when he did go down, he was right back up — but Giacomo climbed the back, dragged Daley down again, and got both hooks in. Having taken the back with more than half a round remaining, Giacomo went hunting for a choke, then transitioned to the top. Daley turned and escaped out, but his back was vulnerable again, and Giacomo took advantage.
This time, however, it was Daley who was able to reverse and get on top, sitting in Giacomo’s guard. He’d end up having to fight off a heel hook attempt, however, and failed to score much if anything in terms of damage.
Daley got some big shots off early in round two. But again, Giacomo responded by getting the fight to the ground, this time care of a body lock. As Daley looked to escape, Giacomo took the back; “Semtex” shook him off, at least briefly, but he was back on with hooks in as Daley was unable to get off his knees. Giacomo landed a few punches to the side of the head, then dragged Daley on top of him. Though a body triangle was clearly available, he settled for just keeping his hooks in, and that allowed Daley to spin and reverse!
The sudden explosion allowed Daley to get to his feet, and he began teeing off on Giacomo immediately, before Giacomo even regained his footing! Lefts and rights were simply winged by Daley at his opponent, and it was a right hand that toppled him — giving Daley the win in the final fight of his career!
A fitting end to an explosive career. @Semtex_170 #Bellator281 pic.twitter.com/4yoQwc7Uih
— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) May 13, 2022
Official Result: Paul Daley def. Wendell Giacomo by knockout, Round 2, 4:09