Who saw this one coming? Back in May of 2010, Paul Daley was fired by the UFC. Seconds after a loss to Josh Koscheck, Daley lost his cool and threw a punch at the winner. When he was approached by an angry Dana White in the cage, Daley didn’t exactly grovel for forgiveness. An incensed White, cut Daley and said he’d never fight for the UFC again. This weekend because of a bizarre twist in the fight game, Daley’s already back collecting a check from the UFC’s parent company Zuffa.
Daley challenges Nick Diaz for the Strikeforce welterweight title (Showtime 10 p.m ET/PT). This is the first major Strikeforce since the promotion was purchased by the UFC three weeks ago. So Daley didn’t make it 12 months without once again fighting for his former employer.
"All this is good for me. This is what I wanted to do. I wanted to be the rival. I wanted to prove something," Daley told Cagewriter.com about his motivation after being fired. "This now is the biggest opportunity, the biggest stage. How better to be the champion of an organization, that they’re rivaling is owned by the same company, that shunned you, kicked you away to be their chanpion again?"
"It makes a lot more interesting if I become the champion," Daley said. "The black sheep of the family becomes the greatest provider for the family … now, what’s up with that?"
Daley doesn’t sound like he has anything against the UFC or White, but he’s steadfast in his belief that he’s handle the postfight apologies appropriately since the incident went down.
"If there’s still an opportunity there, I ain’t gonna reach out for it," Daley said. "As far as I’m concerned I’ve done enough in apologizing through the press and the media for what I’ve."
Ultimately, the guy he needs to smooth things over with is White.
"I’ve never spoke to Dana personally or face-to-face or on the phone about the incident itself. I have no reason to reach out to him. He’s the employer. If he wants me with a company, then he reaches out to me and says ‘hey look I want you to be with my company. Let’s sit down and talk."
Daley thinks his problems with White began well before the Koscheck fight saying he was brought in to lose against guys like Martin Kampmann and Dustin Hazelett. When he didn’t and carried himself in arrogant fashion, it may have turned off the powers that be.
Daley wants the win and Strikeforce title belt in the worst way. If he doesn’t win and never makes it back to the UFC, the Brit is confident that he’ll be fine. He’s got an entrepreneurial spirit, is a good self-promoter and knows he can draw a crowd to watch him fight somewhere around the world.
"I’ll be fine no matter what," Daley said. "I’ve always been good at making money. That’s why I ain’t scared to say what I’ve got to say. They’re feeding me now but away from her, I’ll still get fed."