by Lee Whitehead – MMAWeekly.com

In a surprising turn of events, U

In a surprising
turn of events, U.K. welterweight star Paul “Semtex” Daley has announced that
he is effectively retiring from the sport of mixed martial arts as of March 29,
2008. He leaves a hole in the division and a series of unanswered questions as
to the reasons behind the announcement.


Daley rose
to prominence in the Cage Rage promotion, carving a name for himself as a
formidable striker with a solid ground game. His ascent in the U.K. has brought
in a major haul of titles including Cage Rage British Champion, Cage Rage World
Champion, FX3 World Champion and King of the Ring Muay Thai Champion; all at welterweight.


24-year-old fighter continued his rise by signing a multi-fight deal with
ProElite following an extensive period of courting that included K-1 and the Ultimate
Fighting Championship vying for his services. He has always stated that his
goal is to become “the best MMA fighter in the world at welterweight.” Daley’s retirement
from the sport at such a tender age means that we won’t be witnessing the
marquee fights he deserves… yet.


It is
possible that his abdication of titles nullifies any contract commitments and
that he may materialize in the future, but it also may mean that as
unfathomable as it sounds for such a consummate competitor, that he has fallen
out of love with the sport of MMA.


At the time
of publication, Paul Daley was unavailable to comment on the situation.


Daley’s public
announcement in full:


“This is
for the fighters, fans, promoters and trolls alike.


As of now I will be stepping down as Cage Rage Champion
(British and world), FX-3 Champion and KOTR champion. I vacate all these
titles. Further more I consider my self retired (from all MMA/Thai boxing) as
of March 29th. March 29th I will fulfill my contracted commitment for Pro
Elite, against a yet unnamed opponent.


No speculation, No further announcements, once I’ve found
the path I originally set out on in the Martial Arts, I may return to this
SPORT, maybe 6 months – maybe 6 years, who knows.

Who will be the
next welterweight CRC champ? FX-3 champ?…




Paul Daley”