Paul Daley and Bellator MMA have resolved their differences.
Daley and the promotion agreed to terms on a new contract Wednesday, ending a long and occasionally rocky standoff between the two sides and ensuring that Daley will remain in the Bellator fold. MMA Fighting confirmed the news following an initial report by ESPN.
Daley (40-16-2) is now targeting a long-awaited, much-anticipated matchup against his rival, Michael Page, the undefeated showman who has officially entered Bellator’s upcoming welterweight tournament. Daley and Page have circled each other for the better part of two years, trading jabs on social media and in interviews and repeatedly calling one another out.
While the grudge match has yet to be officially booked, Daley’s manager Ali Abdelaziz told MMA Fighting in no uncertain terms that Page is the fight “Semtex” wants next, which means Daley would have to become the 10th entrant for Bellator’s 10-man welterweight bracket.
“This is who me and Paul want to fight, and who the fans want to see fight, “Abdelaziz said. “I’m so honored to be part of this, and I have no doubt Paul to going to knock him the f*ck out.”
Wednesday’s outcome is one that seemed unlikely for Daley as recently as a few months ago, when a bitter disagreement between Daley and Bellator officials led the Englishman to publicly state his desire to part ways with the company. The dispute came to a head in May during Daley’s contest against Fitch at Bellator 199, when Daley memorably booed his own fight and criticized Bellator officials while being wrestled by Fitch.
Now, the fences appear to have been mended on all sides.