Paul Daley may be the ultimate "cult" fighter of the past decade. Someone who's never achieved the highest levels of success, but managed to remain one of the most consistently entertaining fighters to watch in the sport. Even talking about his success feels a little strange, as he's really only lost to very good competition, stretching back to Pat Healy in 2005. Ultimately, some heated words that led to a stupid swing after the bell cost Daley his best chance at the limelight, but recent talk suggest it may not have been forever. As there's been a bit of noise of late about the potential for a return to the UFC for "Semtex," hes taken some time to turn a critical eye on the UFC's current welterweight division.
Here's what he had to say via WHOATV.com:
In the time I've been away from the UFC, achieving notable success and continuing to light people up I've seen the welterweight division swell with incredible fighters. Jonny Hendricks, Matt Brown and Dong Hyun Kim being among those worthy of note. I've seen fighters I once looked at with a degree of admiration throw their toys out of the proverbial pram acting like petulant children, Nick Diaz being one of them. I've also seen the spark leave the division which is seemingly filled by those content on decision wins rather than decisive knock outs or submissions.
You only have to take a look at UFC 174 to get an idea of where I'm coming from when I say decision wins do not feature in my dna. Two men (Tyron Woodley and Rory McDonald) both coming off mediocre performances looking to seal their place...with a less than stellar performance. Seems the welterweight division is filled with stallers rather than brawlers.
Apart from wanting to compete with the best and shake up what is essentially a division suffering from inertia the UFC surely could welcome more star power to an organisation which has seen George St Pierre take a sabbatical, Anderson Silva on a long lay off and possible retirement, Chael Sonnen, a serial drugs cheat I might add, finally hanging up his gloves.
He went on to talk about his current contract status with BAMMA and K-1 and that, despite working for those organizations, any current business could "be easily and tidily resolved should the UFC seek my services." It's hard to say how many more miles Daley has left on his tires, but he's gone 11-4 since his UFC release way back in 2010, including hard fought losses to Nick Diaz and Tyron Woodley. And of course he's also compiled another 7 knockouts. I'm not sure he could ever be the sort of massive draw he's suggesting he might be, but he'll always be a fun fighter to watch, no matter where he competes.