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A promising and exciting welterweight striker from Britain, Paul Daley got his big break when he was signed by the UFC in 2009.
After registering back-to-back first-round knockouts over Martin Kampmann and Dustin Hazelett, Daley was booked to fight Josh Koscheck at UFC 113 with a coaching appearance opposite champion Georges St. Pierre on Season 12 of The Ultimate Fighter, and a title shot, on the line.
What started out as innocuous banter between the two of them on the Underground Forum—with Daley posting photo-shopped images of Koscheck sporting various outlandish hairstyles—soon turned ugly and bad blood was definitely on the agenda by the time the fight went down on May 8, 2010.
In the fight itself, Koscheck repeatedly frustrated Daley with his wrestling, talking trash all the while as he is well-known to do. Immediately after the bell sounded in what the judges would render as a unanimous decision in Koscheck's favor, Daley came up from behind Koscheck and sucker-punched him.
UFC President Dana White acted swiftly, not only releasing Daley on the spot, but vowing never to re-sign him even if he turned out to be, in White's own words, the best 170-pounder in the world.
But has Daley in fact put White's promise on that score to the test?
Following four victories over mediocre opponents for four different promotions on three continents, including one for Strikeforce, which was not yet under Zuffa's auspices, Daley returned to Strikeforce (by that time now owned by Zuffa) where he was demolished by Nick Diaz, then smothered by Tyron Woodley.
Then came two more wins over clearly out-manned foes, both via decision. He then suffered his third straight loss for Strikeforce when he dropped a split decision to Kazuo Misaki in March, which has turned out to be Daley's last fight on Zuffa's junior circuit. This parody of a "victory tour" will now move on to Bellator.
Once one win away from fighting for the UFC welterweight title, Paul Daley is going nowhere mighty fast.