Paul Daley has options, not many, but he has them. In his last fight against Nick Diaz, Daley brought it to the young Californian and came up short. Three seconds short to be exact. Ref Big John McCarthy called the championship fight with three seconds left in the first round.
I have never questioned a stoppage by McCarthy until that fight. Was Daley in trouble? Yes. Diaz was also equally in trouble earlier in the fight when he turtled up. Daley, however, was defending himself when the stoppage came down. The only comparison I can make is that if you feel the stoppage was a correct call, then you also should feel that Shane Carwin should have the heavyweight belt right now when he fought Brock Lesnar at UFC 116. This isn’t about my opinion of the stoppage; it is about Daleys luck or lack thereof.
Paul Daley is an exciting fighter who likes to stand and trade with his opponent. This leads to great fights but also leaves a fighter susceptible to the counter. He has come up short when his fights have meant the most, his fight against Koscheck for the title eliminator bout and his fight against Diaz for the Strikeforce belt.
After his fight with Koscheck he came up and sucker punched Koscheck. This wasn’t what got him kicked out of the organization however; it was his explanation he told White that caused him to get the boot. White said when he went to Daleys locker room to question him about it, Daley told White he wasn’t aware the fight was over. White felt insulted by this and the rest is history.
I immediately thought of Daley when Michael Bisping spit on Jorge Rivera corner man Matt Phinney. Bisping says he spit on the floor and Phinney says the spit hit him.
Let’s face it, Dana White can be just as emotional as his fighters and can make knee jerk reactions just like his fighters. This is no defense for Daley, but I just hate to see a fighter lose his entire career over quick and irrational decisions made. Dana White has said that Daleys career in the UFC is over and that is that.
Or is it?
After his loss to Diaz, White stated he was impressed with the brits showing. Could this be a chink in the heavy handed armor that White wears? White loves a great fight and there is no doubt that Daley brings that every time. Scott Coker, CEO of Strikeforce, also stated that Daley will be with the promotion for the foreseeable future and Daley could be brought back as early as this summer. With the UFCs purchase of Strikeforce changes have been made and will continue to be made, and if White was adamant about Daley not fighting then it simply wouldn’t happen. A contract can be honored without having the fighter actually fight, so maybe White could be showing signs of possibly changing his mind about Daley and his future with the UFC.
Daleys job right now is to get back out there and start winning. With a rematch against Diaz in doubt due to Diaz wanting to get into boxing, Daley could still potentially win the Strikeforce belt and strongly make his case for why he can play nice with others and compete once again in the UFC and maybe just change his luck around.