Paul Daley (above) will duke it out with Evangelista Santos. | File photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Recent Strikeforce welterweight title challengers Paul Daley and Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos are set to clash July 30 at Strikeforce “Fedor vs. Henderson.”
Daley’s management team, Fight Management, over the weekend confirmed the matchup in a press release. The hard-hitting 170-pounders will likely be featured on the main card of the show, which emanates from Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill., and is headlined by the titular heavyweight tilt between Fedor Emelianenko and Dan Henderson.
“I’m happy to be fighting again. It’s a big fight,” Daley, 28, stated in the release. “For those who haven’t seen the Melvin Manhoef vs. Cyborg fight, watch it and expect the same outcome for Cyborg -- he’ll be knocked out.”
In addition to his training with Team Rough House in Nottingham, England, Daley will spend time working with Manhoef during one of his frequent visits to Mike’s Gym in Amsterdam. Though never having fought, Daley and Santos both campaigned on the U.K. fight circuit in the mid-‘00s. At that time, Santos competed at light heavyweight, two weight classes above his English opponent.
“Just like me, Cyborg’s been around since the Cage Rage days. He brings experience and power to the cage, like me. He’s an aggressive guy, like me. And it will be an entertaining fight, like mine always are,” added Daley.
Daley had a four-fight win streak snapped on April 9, when he came up on the wrong end of a first-round firefight with then-Strikeforce welterweight champ Nick Diaz. “Semtex” had not lost since his May 2010 release from the UFC, and had knocked out former contender Scott Smith and Deep welterweight ace Yuya Shirai in back-to-back contests. The Englishman’s record stands at 27-10-2, with of those 20 victories coming via some form of knockout.
No stranger to stoppages, Santos’ 18-14 ledger contains 11 knockout wins and eight of the same in the loss column. The 33-year-old Chute Boxe product has not fought since being armbarred by Diaz in their January title tilt. Santos earned his title shot after only two fights in the Strikeforce cage, a split decision loss to Joey Villasenor and subsequent first-round thumping of Dream champ Marius Zaromskis.