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Paul Daley: 'Josh Koscheck needs to win a fight first' before booking a rematch

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Esther Lin, Sportsfile

UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Though Paul Daley ultimately vanquished Dennis Olson on Friday night, it ended up being a little bit of a struggle. A couple of times in the first round of the co-main event on Friday night "Semtex" was double-legged and taken down. No big deal since he scored a vicious second-round TKO anyway, right?

Well, with his nemesis Josh Koscheck sitting cageside for his fight, those double-leg takedowns were loaded.

"I felt his presence," the 32-year-old Daley said after the fight. "When Olson came out and shot the double-leg and he got it straight away, I was like damn…I know Koscheck’s going to be like, yes or whatever. But I got back up and we seen how the fight ended.

"But yeah, there was something in the back of my mind, because I knew Olson was a very tough wrestler, so I wanted to show improvements in my ground game. I hit a nice sweep out there, I defended a few of his submission attempts, but I think I did that. I’m still improving, you know."

Since Bellator signed Josh Koscheck in June, there has been talk about a rematch between him and Daley from their UFC 113 bout in 2010. That fight was dictated by the wrestler Koscheck, who scored a unanimous decision by keeping Daley on his back for the bulk of the bout. After the final horn, Daley took a swing at Koscheck out of frustration, which resulted in him being banished from the promotion.

In an interview conducted during Friday night’s broadcast on Spike TV, Koscheck -- who lost five fights in a row to end his run with the UFC -- said he was hoping Daley would get through Olson so that they could potentially fight in December.

Asked about that time frame, Daley said it’s all conditional.

"I think Koscheck needs to win a fight first and then we’ll talk after that," he said. "So when Koscheck gets a win here in Bellator, then we’ll talk about fighting. If he gets a win before December and Bellator thinks it’s the right fight in terms of promotion and getting eyes on the promotion, then I’ll accept the fight, but let’s get him a win. Maybe Koscheck vs. [Douglas] Lima, maybe that’s an interesting fight next."

Lima dropped a unanimous decision in Friday’s main event versus Andrey Koreshkov. In any case, Daley is already booked for a kickboxing match in Glory on Sept. 19 in San Jose, Calif., as part of Bellator hybrid Dynamite event.

With things still up in the air, Daley said that he was willing to fight whoever he was asked to, but that he understands that a Koscheck rematch is big business for Bellator.

"It’s an important fight, because it’s a big fight," he said. "In terms of promotion, in terms of financial reward it would be probably bigger than a lot of the other fights. But becoming champion, you know, again there your marquee name goes up and the financial awards are there too, so for me it’s a title fight or the Koscheck fight next. We’ll see what Bellator thinks.

"If they want me to have another fight, I’ll have another fight. I’ll never say no to another fight before either of those two fights because I’m still not 100 percent happy with what I did tonight, or 100 percent happy with the Andre Santos fight [at Bellator 134]. So I’d still like to have another run out and try and work on some more things that I’ve been working on in camp."