‘Semtex’ Believes He’ll be Too Much to Handle For Santos
British slugger Paul Daley made his Bellator MMA debut in 2012, scoring a first-round TKO win over Rudy Bears. It’s taken almost three years for “Semtex” to return to the promotion, but the 31-year-old knockout artist is planning to make the most of his opportunity.
“I’ve had some visa issues, but I’ve been keeping busy while I’ve been away,” Daley said. “I was nursing a few injuries lately, and I just wasn’t fit to fight. Luckily, they gave me an opportunity anyway, and I’m thankful to Bellator for that.”
That opportunity comes in the form of Andre Santos (37-9), as Daley (35-13-2) and the Brazilian meet at Friday’s “Bellator MMA: British Invasion,” which takes place at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., and airs live on Spike TV (9 p.m. ET).
With 46 professional fights to his credit, Santos can nearly match Daley in terms of fighting experience, but “Semtex” believe the quality of opponents they’ve faced stands in stark contrast.
“He’s never been in there against a guy of my caliber,” Daley said. “I really believe that and, I think he’s going to find that out after the first 30 seconds of the fight.”
Daley’s most recent combat sports action was actually a kickboxing bout in Thailand rather than an MMA contest. “Semtex” picked up a hard-fought decision victory over Iranian striker Mohammad Ghaedibardeh but admitted the victory did not come without a significant price.
Still, it provided a valuable lesson, as well.
“The fight in Thailand was difficult,” Daley admitted. “I took a lot of heavy kicks. I didn’t like it much. I’ve had a lot of other MMA fights, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt as terrible as I felt after that boxing fight in Thailand. I was in a pretty bad way, but it was something that I feel the experience made me a lot more strong and confident in what I’m able to deal with.”
Now make to full strength, Daley he’s ready to make an impact in Belaltor’s wleterweight division. Initially slated to fight for the Bellator MMA title, Daley had to settle for a non-title affair when injury forced champ Douglas Lima to withdraw from the card.
Daley admits he was disappointed but knows he can still make an impression with an impressive win.
“I’m going to be too much for him,” Daley said. “I’ve been around the sport for a long time. I’ve got a hell of a lot of experience in MMA at a high level.”
Santos is certainly no pushover, as he brings a six-fight winning streak to the cage that includes an October win over James Terry under the Bellator MMA banner. But Daley isn’t concerned. He’s simply going in there to throw bombs. A win likely earns him another booking with Lima, but Daley isn’t worried about that right now.
He’s simply going in to put on a show, and he think you should be sure and watch it.
“People should tune in for the same reason they always want to see a Paul Daley fight: To watch me knock somebody out,” Daley said.