Paul Daley Comments on Strikeforce Signing, Chasing Gold

It was just four months ago that Paul Daley's MMA career suddenly unraveled. In the span of about one hour on a May night in Montreal, he lost a No. 1 contenders fight that cost him a chance to fight for the UFC championship, intentionally punched opponent Josh Koscheck after the bell, and was cut from his UFC contract for his unsportsmanlike action.

The fallout, though, was hardly as bad as it seemed it would be at the time. In the months since, Daley has fought twice, defeating Daniel Acacio in Australia in July before beating Jorge Masvidal at the recent Shark Fights event in Amarillo, Texas. Earlier this week, Daley sealed his quick return to major league MMA when when he inked a six-fight contract with Strikeforce.

"I'm obviously very excited," Daley told MMA Fighting in an email. "Strikeforce is a great promotion and there are some real good fights for me there."

The 27-year-old Brit, a winner of six of his last seven bouts, is likely to become an immediate contender in the Strikeforce welterweight division. Known for his powerful striking, most notably a crushing left hook, Daley's scored 18 of his 25 career win by KO or TKO.

After fighting so recently though, Daley hopes to take a bit of time off before making his promotional debut, though he says he "definitely" wants to fight before the year is out.

As for his plans in the division, which is currently ruled by champion Nick Diaz, Team Daley says they will follow the vision of Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker and the company matchmaker, though his manager Wad Alameddine notes that Daley usually tends to make strong first impressions.

"Paul tends to hit the ground running wherever he goes and is pretty adaptable to different organizations as he's competed at many different ones now," Alameddine said. "Paul is still ranked in the world top 10 -- and top 5 on some websites -- so he's right up there in terms of skill, reputation and opponents he's beaten, etc., so hopefully he'll have the opportunity bring the belt home next year at some point."

Daley himself says he's not so focused on Diaz but getting to the top.

"I want to be champion," he said. "I go to every promotion with the view of fighting and beating the best, the champion. Not Nick Diaz necessarily but whoever has the belt is my target. Nick's got to fight KJ [Noons] first."

After suffering through a potentially career-defining moment, Daley has persevered and now stands poised to start fresh. Asked if the new beginning will help smooth over the rough unexpected ending to his UFC career, Daley goes a more practical route.

"I'm just happy to still be doing what I love," he said. "I plan to give you more great fights and excitement, with typical Semtex-style finishes."

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