Whats Next For Paul Daley?
At UFC 103 there where a lot of fights that had very interesting implications, we had the return of Vitor Belfort, we would learn if Dos Santos was for real and if Mirko Cro Cop had a legitimate place in the UFC HW Division.
We also had a very interesting match with title implications between Martin Kampmann and Mike Swick, that was however until Swick was unfortunately injured in training suffering a concussion and taking him out of the fight just weeks before it was supposed to take place.
The call was made to Paul Daley to step up and take the place of Mike Swick and many thought Daley was thrown to the wolves in this fight. It was his UFC Debut, he was taking the fight on short notice, he was fighting a UFC title contender who had just beaten Carlos Condit.
Daley by his own admission is not a well rounded fighter and is lacking in the ground game however he is a world class striker which was evident on the night at UFC 103 when the left hook found a home on Kampmann's chin several times. Daley eventually overwhelmed Kampmann to get the TKO in the very first round.
The stoppage seemed slightly premature but there was no doubt that Daley had one and reports after the fight suggest Kampmann was out on his feet and unaware the fight was over until he regained some composure 10 or 20 seconds after the fight was stopped.
It would have been better for Daley if the fight was not stopped in this way and he was allowed to finish Kampmann, If that had happened there would have been less animosity from the crowd however despite the boo's he was gracious and humble in victory.
The win for Daley has shook up the Welterweight division, taking out Kampmann has left the UFC without a legitimate title contendor so what do they do and where does Daley go from here now he has been fast tracked to the top of the pile at welterweight?
I think the most likely action the UFC will take will be a face off between Mike Swick and Paul Daley with the winner getting a shot at the belt. However there are many interesting style match ups for Daley in the division, I also think a fight with Thiago Alves would be an amazing stand up war.
There are always problems jumping straight in at the top, just look at Lesnar Vs. Mir 1, and The problems Daley will face will be focused entirely on one aspect of his game, the ground.
Given more time to mature as a fighter and learn the ground game more thouroughly would make Daley a force to be reckoned with even at the very top but at the moment he could very well be taken apart by anyone with skills on the mat.
Only time will tell if Daley is truly running before he can walk but it is this writers opinion that we will be seeing Daley in the octagon with the biggest names in the sport and maybe one day with UFC gold around his waist.
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