Bellator unconditionally releases Paul Daley and Maiquel Falcao due to ongoing legal troubles


The Bellator careers of both Paul Daley and Maiquel Falcao are over.

MMA Fighting has learned that Bellator has unconditionally released the fighters, both of which have dealt with recent legal trouble in separate incidents. The decision was confirmed by a Bellator spokesman on Thursday.

Just weeks ago in Brazil, Falcao was involved in a brawl which left his teammate Kaue Mena in a coma. The fight, which was caught on tape, appeared to be initiated by Falcao after he shoved a female inside a gas station. The fight spilled outdoors, where Falcao and Mena were both hit by solid objects appearing to be wooden boards.

It was not Falcao's first run-in with the law. He was released from the UFC in 2011 after the promotion learned of a 2002 incident in which another woman was injured.

Falcao fought four times for Bellator, winning the season six middleweight tournament title before being knocked out Alexander Shlemenko in a Feb. 7 Bellator middleweight championship match.

It is not currently known whether he will face charges in the incident.

According to Bellator, Daley had his own issues in his native England, recently pleading guilty to one count of assault by beating, and two counts of obstructing or resisting a constable in executing their duties. Daley's plea deal ensured no jail time, but according to Bellator, would continue to cause visa issues.

The 30-year-old Daley fought only a single time in Bellator, earning a first-round TKO of Rudy Bears in July 2012. Since then, he's competed twice, earning two knockout wins.

Bellator director of communications Anthony Mazzuca said the decisions were made after a lengthy review.

"We examine each situation on a case by case basis," he said, "and, in these two instances, the violent nature of both situations has led to our decision to release both fighters from the organization. We recently received and reviewed the real documents in Daley’s situation, which made clear that he was not in fact cleared, but was actually convicted of both assault by beating and obstructing an officer.

"And, in Maiquel’s situation the video speaks for itself," he continued. "After reviewing the footage and speaking to the parties involved, including Maiquel and his former manager and trainer Marcelo Brigadeiro, we felt this was the appropriate decision. Maiquel was nothing but a professional during his time with Bellator, but these recent developments have prevented us from keeping Maiquel with the organization."

Mazzuca added the releases were unconditional, allowing the fighters to immediately sign with any promoter.

"Both fighters are now able to fight wherever they wish and for whoever they wish," he said. "We have retained no matching rights to either fighter. We wish them the best in their future endeavors."

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