If you were looking forward to seeing Paul Daley competing under the Bellator banner, you’re out of luck for the time being. Daley has been arrested following an alleged bar fight and has been pulled from the upcoming welterweight tournament.
Bellator had originally hoped to match Daley up against Jon “War Machine” Koppenhaver after a fan vote chose those two fighters to be the first televised fight of the promotion’s season eight welterweight tournament, but that fight was postponed after War Machine was injured during training.
With the arrest, reported by ESPN.com, Daley has now been fully removed from the welterweight tournament. If convicted of the charges, Daley faces up to two years in prison.
Daley is no stranger to controversy. The heavy-handed striker saw his stint with the UFC come to an abrupt end when he sucker punched Josh Koscheck following the final horn of their bout in May 2010. The late punch led UFC president Dana White to proclaim at the post-fight press conference:
He’s done. I don’t give a s**t if he’s the best 170-pounder in the world. He’ll never come back here again…I’m probably the most lenient guys in sports. And this is probably one of the most lenient organizations. We’re all human, we all make mistakes, things happen. There’s no excuse for that. These guys are professional athletes. You don’t ever hit a guy blatantly after the bell like that whether you’re frustrated or not. It was probably one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen…I don’t care if he fights in every show all over the world and becomes the best and everybody thinks he’s the pound-for-pound best in the world. He will never fight in the UFC ever again.
Daley found a home with Strikeforce following his release from the UFC and fought for that promotions welterweight title in April 2011, losing to then-champion Nick Diaz by a late first-round TKO. He would fight two more times for Strikeforce, losing both bouts before asking for and receiving his release from the promotion.
Daley is also infamous for missing weight, coming in over the limit six times since 2008.
Daley made his Bellator debut in July 2012, earning a TKO win over Rudy Bears in the first round of that matchup.
It is unclear as to what his future with Bellator is at this time, as the ESPN report states that Daley is unable to enter the United States due to the charges.