Paul “Semtex” Daley rebounded from a decision loss to Douglas Lima in July by knocking out Brennan Ward in the first round of the Bellator 170 co-main event on Saturday at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
Both fighters predicted a knockout finish leading up to the fight, but it was Daley who came up big midway through the opening round.
Ward, a Division III collegiate wrestling All-American, drew on his wrestling ability to take Daley down three times in the fight. Each time Daley quickly got back to his feet. After standing the third time, Daley landed a spinning back elbow that backed Ward up. He then leaped into the air landed a perfectly placed flying knee that immediately removed Ward from his senses.
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) January 22, 2017
Ward immediately went limp and crumbled to the canvas and needed to be assisted from the cage. He was placed on a stretcher and put in a neck brace as a precautionary measure. As he was being taken from the cage, he gave the crowd a thumbs up indicating that he was okay.
“First off, I want to wish Brennan Ward’s family and friends that are here that I hope that he’s okay. Me and Brennan are tight. This was a difficult fight for me because I genuinely like the guy. We’ve spent a lot of time together here at Bellator, so I wanted to get that out there first. I hope Brennan Ward is okay after this fight,” said Daley following his 29th career knockout win.
The welterweight contender then turned his attention to who he’d like to fight next.
“I’m looking at everybody, marquee names and champions. Rory MacDonald has come over from the UFC and things he can do his (expletive) over here. It ain’t going to happen. Rory MacDonald gets in this cage with me, he’s getting knocked the (expletive) out,” he said.
MacDonald, a former UFC welterweight title contender, signed with Bellator MMA in August 2016. He has yet to make his debut in the Bellator cage.