Paul Daley’s retirement bout has seen a change of plans.
Bellator announced Tuesday that Daley (43-18-2) will fight promotional newcomer Wendell Giacomo (9-2) in a welterweight bout at Bellator 281 on May 13 at OVO Arena Wembley in London. Daley was originally scheduled to fight Andrey Koreshkov. No reason was given for the change.
The new bout was first reported by Metro News.
Daley’s bout at Bellator 281 is expected to be the last of his 19-year career. During an appearance on The MMA Hour in January, the 39-year-old Englishman announced his plan to hang up the gloves.
“It will be my retirement fight,” Daley said. “After many years in the game, the hours on the road, hours in the gym, the years have caught up with me, and now every morning, I wake up with a bad back, and I’m just tired.
“I’ve put in a lot of time in the sport, and I’m in a position to retire, fortunately. So yeah, I’m going to retire. I don’t want to be one of those fighters who’s getting knocked out all the time by the younger guys. I want to be a guy who goes out when I want to go out.”
Giacomo, 27, makes his Bellator debut with wins in eight of his past nine fights. The Brazilian most recently fought at an LFA event in Rio de Janeiro last July, defeating Uyran Carlos by unanimous decision.
Bellator 281 has already seen several changes to its welterweight slate, with a Yaroslav Amosov title defense against Michael “Venom” Page being changed to Page vs. Logan Storley for an interim title, and a bout between three-time Bellator champion Douglas Lima and Jason Jackson being postponed for a future date still to be determined.