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Paul Daley moving on from Josh Koscheck, focusing on Douglas Lima

Esther Lin photo

Paul Daley is getting a little tired of hearing about Josh Koscheck.

Sure, Daley's the one who waited years to get a rematch after one of the most infamous fights in mixed martial arts history. Daley was banished from the UFC after slugging Koscheck well after the horn in Koscheck's UFC 113 unanimous decision victory over Daley.

But Koscheck has been elevated to the main event of Bellator 158 on Saturday night, where he meets former welterweight champion Douglas Lima at London's O2 Arena, and it comes after Koscheck dropped out of a planned fight for undisclosed reasons.

Daley isn't completely shutting the door on eventually meeting Koscheck, but nor is he thinking about him much anymore.

"Honestly, I would never say never, but I'm not going to wait on Josh Koscheck anymore," Daley told "I don't believe he's serious about ever wanting to fight again."

After fighting out his UFC contract early in 2015, Koscheck signed with Bellator last June. But for various reasons, he's yet to compete for his new company.

"I was quite frankly surprised he even made it out to London for the press conference awhile back," Daley said. "I thought he'd come up with an excuse not to go. Even then, I was pretty sure he wouldn't make it to the fight."

Instead, the veteran Daley ends up the most consequential fight of his Bellator stint, as he meets a heavy hitter who also has eyes on the championship. Lima's title loss last summer to Andrey Koreshkov ended a five-fight win streak, all via knockout or TKO. Daley who himself has four knockouts and TKOs on his current five-fight win streak, is ready for the challenger.

"I'm not getting any younger, and I have my eyes on winning a world championship," Daley said. "I don't want to waste any more time. I want to challenge myself. Lima's got flaws but I know what he can do in there and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to show I deserve the shot at the title. Koscheck, he's lost five fights in a row. How is beating him going to get me any closer to my goal, at this point?"

Daley, who is based in Nottingham, England, will compete in an MMA fight in London for the first time in 2007, and it will mark the first time he's taken center stage at the famed O2 Arena.

But the elevation to the main event is bittersweet, as it's due to the passing of Kimbo Slice, who was scheduled to fight James Thompson on the card.

"You want to strike the right tone here," Daley said. "It's a tremendous honor to headline the show at O2 and be able to fight before my friends and family here. It's been a long time. But at the same time, I mean, it's not like Kimbo and I were close friends, but professionally speaking, we crossed paths many times, going all the way back to when were both in Pro Elite. He was always a friendly, good-natured, down-to-earth guy, nothing like how they portrayed him on TV. So it's unfortunate that this is the reason why I'm in this spot, but you still have to take the opportunities you are given."

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