Paul Daley Has Assault Charges Dropped, Hopeful to Return to Bellator Soon

Damon Martin@@DamonMartinContributor IJune 24, 2013

photo courtesy of MMAWeekly.com
photo courtesy of MMAWeekly.com

Paul Daley's long wait to return to the United States is almost over after charges against him in his home country of England were dropped recently.

The hard punching welterweight has been unable to travel to the United States while awaiting the outcome of alleged assault charges that were filed after a bar fight several months ago.

Now the good news is Daley has been cleared of all charges, and will be applying for his travel visa to return to the United States at any time.

"The case was thrown out, lack of evidence and contradicting witness accounts," Daley said when speaking to Bleacher Report on Monday.  "I'm extremely happy.  Applying for my P-1 visa as we speak and hope to return to the USA and Bellator later this year."

Daley was expected to take part in the last Bellator welterweight tournament that the promotion ran earlier this year, but when his legal entanglements arose he was forced out of the fights and back to the sideline.

While he was unable to travel to the United States, Daley did manage to stay busy picking up two wins fighting overseas.  He will have a third fight coming up on July 20 when he faces Lukasz Chlewicki in Cage Warriors 57 in England.

Assuming all goes well with that fight and his visa approval comes through without any holdups, Daley can resume his Bellator fighting career later this year.

Daley only got the chance to compete for Bellator one time after signing with the promotion last year. In that fight, Daley finished Rudy Bears with strikes midway through the first round.

Daley's return to the welterweight division will be welcomed after injuries and delays have scrapped several high-profile fights lately. The issues include the upcoming welterweight tournament final (the one Daley was expected to take part in) when Douglas Lima suffered an injury in training, pushing back his scheduled fight against Ben Saunders.

It also doesn't hurt Bellator that Daley has been cleared as they make a push into the television market in the United Kingdom. The Viacom-owned company recently started putting content on VIVA, a free television network in England, and signed several fighters from the area including former UFC fighter Paul Sass.

Then there is the intriguing matchup pitting Daley against perennial bad boy Jon Koppenhaver aka War Machine, who just recently returned to Bellator and picked up a win over Blas Avena.

Daley and War Machine were scheduled to face off in the first ever-televised Bellator fight on Spike TV in January before the British fighter was unable to travel to the United States.

Now with his legal issues cleared up, Daley will look to make his impact felt in the Bellator cage later this year.

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


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