Bellator fighter and former UFC welterweight Paul Daley has responded to reports that he has been arrested due to a bar brawl, stating that the claims are false.
Initially reported by ESPN, it seemed that Daley was facing up to two years in prison if convicted of the charges.
Moreover, the charges were said to be the main thing barring Daley from leaving England.
However, "Semtex" has gone to his official Facebook profile to clear the air, stating he's merely having Visa issues that won't be cleared up in time for the start of Bellator's next welterweight tournament:
"It seems as though a mass press release has gone out to the MMA media, stating I was involved in a bar brawl, arrested, and cannot obtain a P-1 visa to compete in the USA
...I am currently awaiting a decision on my visa, which is not expected until late April. Which means i am unable to compete in the season 8 Bellator tournament, as it starts in January.
I will be fighting in Europe in the coming months, so I am able to stay active while awaiting a decision on my visa status.
I was not involved in a bar brawl. This is 100% a false statement."
Still, Daley notably doesn't address whether or not he was arrested on an assault charge. According to ESPN, a spokesperson from Bellator MMA made the initial announcement about Daley being dropped from the "Season Eight" welterweight tournament.
Either way, it's bad timing for Daley, as he will miss Bellator's SPIKE debut on January 17, 2013. This will be Bellator's first season after their run on the promotion's official website and MTV2, as SPIKE was contractually unable to show non-UFC content on their channel during the past year.
Before signing with Bellator, Daley had previously fought in the UFC and Strikeforce, being involuntarily cut from the former.
During a UFC 113 title eliminator bout with Josh Koscheck, a frustrated Daley struck Koscheck after the final bell of the third round, frustrated at being controlled by the superior wrestler. UFC president Dana White promptly dropped Daley from the promotion, famously citing that Daley would never fight in the UFC again.