by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
Paul Daley finally has an opponent for his one-off bout for Shark Fights on Sept. 11. He will face American Top Team fighter Jorge Masvidal, according to Shark Fights officials.
The bout will be Daley’s first in North America since his UFC exile following a cheap shot on Josh Koscheck after the bell at UFC 113 in May.
According to Brent Medley, president of Shark Fight Promotions, “Choosing the right opponent to face a high-level contender like Daley was not easy. Numerous A-list fighters were under consideration. When we heard that Jorge Masvidal wanted to return to the welterweight division after several grueling weight cuts from 185 pounds to 155 pounds, he became our clear choice. We immediately approached Masvidal about the bout and he did not hesitate to step up to the challenge.”
Daley (24-9-2) has fought once since the UFC fallout after his loss to Koscheck. He defeated Daniel Acacio at Impact FC 2 in Sydney, Australia, last month. Daley has also agreed to a six-fight deal with Strikeforce that will go into effect following his appearance at Shark Fights 13.
Masvidal (20-5) is a former AFC welterweight champion and Bellator Fighting Championships veteran. He holds notable wins over UFC standout Joe Lauzon, former IFL lightweight champion Ryan Schultz, UFC and Pride veteran Yves Edwards, former Sengoku Lightweight Champion Satoru Kitaoka, and most recently Naoyuki Kotani. A notable win over a top contender such as Daley could put Masvidal on the radar of UFC executives.
The Shark Fights 13 main event roster, the promotion’s most prominent by far, includes Keith Jardine vs. Trevor Prangley, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou vs. Houston Alexander, Paul Daley vs. Jorge Masvidal, Drew McFedries vs. Joey Villasenor, and a fifth fight yet to be announced.