Coming off of four MMA wins in a row, welterweight veteran Paul “Symtex” Daley capped off his 2015 with a unanimous decision victory over Fernando Gonzalez for Bellator Kickboxing, and then followed that up with a win over Andy Ulrich to kick off his 2016 in his return to MMA.
“I’m just happy to be fighting,” Daley told MMAWeekly.com. “I love MMA and love the kickboxing as well. I’d love to pursue both at the same time. I think I’m more than capable of being champion in both sports, especially now that Bellator has kickboxing as well.”
Daley was especially pleased with his first round TKO of Ulrich in January, not only because it was a victory, but he feels it sent a message to someone he has distain for.
“It’s always good to win,” said Daley. “Especially in the hometown of Josh Koscheck and to kind of give him a preview of what might have happened if he had chosen to take the fight, so it was cool.”
Daley (38-13-2) was supposed to face Koscheck as part of Bellator 158 at the 02 Arena in London, England, on July 19, but will instead take on former promotional champ Douglas Lima (26-6) in a 170-pound main card bout.
When asked if he was disappointed he wouldn’t be facing Koscheck, Daley replied, “I wasn’t expecting him to fight. He has a comfortable lifestyle. He really didn’t seem up for the fight.
“I was surprised he came to the UK press conference. He seemed very scared, very, very nervous and unsure of himself, so I wasn’t too surprised with the fact that he chose to withdraw from the fight.”
When it comes to Lima, Daley believes he knows what to expect in the fight, and has adjusted his game plan accordingly.
“He’s a tough guy, who is a BJJ black belt, has a strong right hand and a strong right kick, and I have to knock him out,” said Daley of Lima. “That’s the only way. I see fit to defeat him. I want to knock him out and make it extremely convincing.
“We have a particular way that we’re going to choose to fight Lima. I think the way we approach this fight will be extremely effective. It will pretty much take away Douglas’ weapons away and make it a clear-cut victory.”
Having gone undefeated in Bellator, Daley believes his time to claim a championship is at hand. And with a win over Lima on July 19, that title opportunity is one step closer to happening.
“I’ve been promised a title fight after this bout and that’s what I’ll be waiting for,” Daley said. “I’ll take Douglas Lima out and then I’ll sit on the sidelines and wait for a title shot, unless it’s kickboxing, in which case I’ll return to the ring and fight kickboxing, whether it’s for a title or not.
“As far as MMA is concerned, after I beat Douglas Lima, I’m going to kick back and wait for the belt.”