Daley Slated for BAMMA 5 Headliner

By: Mike Whitman
Jan 21, 2011
Strikeforce welterweight contender Paul Daley (Pictured) will test his mettle outside the promotion for a single, homecoming fight with the U.K.-based British Association of Mixed Martial Arts. There, he will likely face Deep welterweight champion Yuya Shirai in the BAMMA 5 main event on Feb. 25 at the Manchester Evening News Arena in Manchester, England.

Daley’s name is now displayed on the BAMMA Web site, but there has been no official mention of Shirai. Speaking with sources close to Strikeforce, Sherdog.com confirmed the promotion has given Daley permission to participate in the event, though an opponent was not specified. Fighter’s Only on Thursday was first to report the potential Daley-Shirai matchup.

A hard-hitting Englishman, Daley is known for carrying dynamite in both hands and knocking his opponents stiff. A former Cage Rage welterweight champion in his homeland, he has won seven of his last eight bouts, with his lone loss coming to Josh Koscheck in Daley’s final fight with the UFC. After joining the organization in 2009, Daley annihilated accurate striker Martin Kampmann and submission wizard Dustin Hazelett before taking on Koscheck at UFC 113 for the right to become top contender for Georges St. Pierre’s championship.

After Koscheck used his wrestling to neutralize Daley’s power punching for three rounds, the frustrated Brit took a swing at the polarizing American Kickboxing Academy representative after the bell. The sucker punch prompted UFC President Dana White to cut “Semtex” from the promotion and announce that Daley would never again return. Daley knocked out Scott Smith in his promotional debut for Strikeforce on Dec. 4 in St. Louis. The Team Rough House product owns 19 of his 26 career victories by knockout.

Shirai is on a similarly impressive run, notching eight wins in nine tries over the last two years. The 30-year-old’s only defeat in that span came to American Jason High in the first round of Dream’s 2009 welterweight grand prix. High caught the Japanese fighter in a fight-ending rear-naked choke just 59 seconds into the first frame. Shirai, a Team M.A.D. representative, won the Deep welterweight title at Deep 45 in January, earning a unanimous decision over Seichi Ikemoto. After besting Che Mills at under the Astra banner in April, Shirai successfully defended his crown against Shigetoshi Iwase at Deep 50 in October.

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