Paul Daley is known as a mixed martial artist who always comes to fight and a lot of opponents have found this out the hard way. With power in both fists, Daley has powered his way to 31 wins in 45 fights. All that at just 30 years old. He has a professional record of 31-12-2 and 22 of those have been by way of knockout. You know if you stand with Paul you are more than likely going to get knocked out. This is backed up by the fact that he has only been TKO’d once in his fighting career. His power has led to his nickname ‘Semtex’ which is related to the explosive power he has in both hands. You can’t argue with that! Paul has fought his way on to some of the top promotions in the world and is the current Cage Rage UK and World Welterweight Champion, FX3 World Welterweight Champion and King of The Ring Muay Thai World Champion.
His martial arts journey began at aged seven when he took up karate and has never looked back since. He has gone onto be one of the best fighters the UK has ever produced. But when did Paul first think that martial arts could be a career for him?
“When I watched the UFC and Royce Gracie collect a big cheque, I realised you could make money fighting! But as a martial artist, my greatest goal was to be a Ninja.”
Hailing from Nottingham, England, Paul fights out of the Spirit Dojo. A team which is slowly growing and gaining a great reputation. Paul is just starting to be more involved with Spirit Dojo:
“I have been involved with spirit dojo at its current location for seven months, but we have steadily been building the group over 2 years. I enjoy people learning and growing in skill and confidence”.
Getting in the cage and fighting is one thing but stepping away from that focus and helping coach others can be really beneficial to many fighters. It helps you to see things from a different angle and pick up tips that you wouldn’t have seen if you had been in the cage. Paul is starting to find out that coaching is being hugely beneficial to him as a fighter:
“I think the coaching side has made me look more closely at the techniques I use and methods of training. It has definitely helped improve me as a fighter”.
Not just helping him as a fighter, it has helped him to train the next generation of fighters at the gym. But who has the ‘Semtex’ stamp of approval and who should we be looking out for in the future?
“We only have one fighter fighting pro rules K1/Thaiboxing at the moment: Jack Layton. He is a keen and talented fighter. We have a lot of promising amateurs too”.
Training in Nottingham has helped Paul get where he is in his career and has given him the grounding in his career, but he also likes to travel abroad to train. Training in a new country can give you new experiences, new skills and a new outlook on your own fighting style but also on the sport itself. Going abroad to train is something which Paul enjoys a lot and has learnt many things from his travels:
“It’s just refreshing to change training every now and again, USA, AMSTERDAM, THAILAND, I have trained with many great fighters. I would have to say the dutch are extremely strong when it come to striking and the Thai’s have a great mind set and training techniques. The USA obviously has a strong wrestling base combat game”.
This training has lead Paul to become one of the most dominate fighters in the world. He has fought and beaten the best and continues to push himself to the limit, but where does he feel he ranks with the best fighters? From promotions like Bellator, One FC, UFC, WSOF, and BAMMA to name a few.
“I feel I can compete with anyone in the current world TOP TEN. Every fighter has his day, whether ranked or not! I just concentrate on being the best I can be”.
He will put this to the test in his next fight, when he takes on Rodrigo Ribeiro, in the main event of the Dubai Fighting Championships, which hosts DFC 4 on May 10th 2013. Daley is currently signed with Bellator and has fought once for the promotion, defeating Rudy Bears at Bellator 72, by first round TKO, last July. Bellator fans voted the match they would most like to see is Daley vs War Machine. Due to visa issues this couldn’t happen but they are letting him fight in Dubai before heading back to the promotion later this year. So what does Paul think on his upcoming fight and the possibility of fighting War Machine?
“He is a BJJ black belt who has struggled with MMA. I intend to keep the fight standing and KO him. With regards War Machine hopefully the fight can happen this year”.
2013 is looking a busy year for Paul and he has already fought once. Back in February he was the co-main event at Cage Contender 16 in Dublin, Ireland. He fought Patrick Vallee and produced one of the best knockout’s I have seen for a while. With 4:12 gone in the second round he threw up a flying knee and knocked out his opponent instantly. That ranks as one of my all time ‘Semtex’ finishes, but what does he see as his best finishes?
“I enjoyed my Scott Smith and Mark Weir KO’s the most”.