Paul Daley Still Unable to Travel to United States, Return to Bellator Unknown

Damon MartinContributor IMay 6, 2013

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British slugger Paul Daley's Bellator MMA career currently reads one win and a whole lot of legal red tape.

The former UFC and Strikeforce competitor signed a multi-fight deal with Bellator in 2012 and came storming out of the gates with a knockout win in his first bout against Rudy Bears later that year.

It was then announced that Daley would meet fellow former UFC fighter War Machine in the first ever bout for Bellator airing on Spike TV in January 2013.  That was until a legal entanglement in Daley's home country of England kept him from securing a travel visa to get into the United States.

Daley was charged in an assault case in England, and while the case is still pending, he cannot receive a travel visa to return to the United States.

Now, five months after Bellator made their debut on Spike TV, Daley has continued to fight overseas but cannot get entrance into the United States, and there's no sign of his return any time soon.

"I talk to Paul via email like once a week and we've had a couple of conversations with a solicitor (attorney in England), and we've had a bunch of conversations with his solicitor in the U.K. Paul cannot get into the United States right now," Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney told MMA's Great Debate Radio.  "The United States will not approve his visa because of the charges pending against him. 

"So, right now the answer is no (he will not be in Bellator in 2013). God willing that changes.  Hopefully he gets over that hump and hopefully we get Paul in here, but right now he's still in a situation where the charges are pending.  He's still in the situation where he may have to go to trial on those charges so right now we're in a holding pattern."

Bellator has approved Daley to fight in a couple of events already, including his win over Patrick Vallee in late February in Ireland. Daley's next trip to the cage will be this Friday, when he heads to Dubai Fighting Championships to face Rodrigo Ribeiro in the night's main event. 

After that it's unclear what Daley's next move will be, but it seems his return to Bellator will remain in murky waters until his legal situation at home in England is cleared up once and for all.

Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and all quotes were obtained first hand unless otherwise noted.