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Paul Daley Putting Likely Strikeforce Title Shot at Risk With UK Fight

British fighter Paul Daley will be risking a likely Strikeforce welterweight championship opportunity by fighting on a BAMMA 5 card in the UK, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker confirmed.

The dynamic striker has agreed to face Yuya Shirai on Feb. 26 in Manchester, MMA Fighting confirmed on Monday morning. If he wins that fight, he's probably the next in line to face the winner of Saturday's Nick Diaz-Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos matchup.

And if he loses?

"If he loses, the deck's going to get re-shuffled," Coker said. And if he wins, he'll be the first in line to get the title shot."

His calculated risk comes against Shirai, a Japanese fighter in the DEEP promotion who wears that organization's 170-pound championship and is 20-8 after winning five straight fights.

Daley (26-9-2) made his Strikeforce debut in December with a devastating first-round knockout of Scott Smith. He's won three straight fights since being cut from the UFC following his infamous post-fight sucker-punch of Josh Koscheck following their UFC 113 bout.

He is expected to be back in the Strikeforce cage around the spring, but his UK fight will determine if he's fighting for gold, or working his way back after a failed gamble.

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