A long-rumored deal between Paul Daley and Strikeforce has officially been finalized.
MMA Fighting has confirmed with Strikeforce director of communications Mike Afromowitz that the former UFC and EliteXC welterweight contender has signed a multi-fight contract with the organization.
While the details of his Strikeforce debut are still up in the air, MMA Weekly is hearing he could fight for the promotion in December against someone who would be willing stand and trade with him.
While the news has been announced globally through Strikeforce, MMAWeekly managed to confirm with various sources close to the situation that a debut will likely occur towards the end of the year, it will be against a high caliber adversary with an exciting style, but with no confirmed bout in the offering at the moment.
Speaking independently to sources in Brazil, it is rumored that recent 170lb debutant Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos currently leads the way as a possible opponent.
Regardless of who they match Daley up with first, you have to imagine Strikeforce is eyeing a potential match-up with the Nick Diaz vs. KJ Noons winner down the road. Either one would make for an explosive fight. Daley mentioned a potential fight with Diaz in the press release.
“I’m looking forward to fighting for STRIKEFORCE and would really love to fight (current STRIKEFORCE welterweight champion) Nick Diaz,’’ Daley said. “He’s a big name and a great fighter. Diaz would bring out the best in me and would be a great test.’’
While we’re on the topic of recent Strikeforce signings, Josh Barnett spoke to Mauro Ranallo earlier this week about his decision to sign with Strikeforce. When asked about the prospect of fighting Fedor Emelianenko, he said he’d “take on anybody,” but if he had to choose, he’d fight Andrei Arlovski. Transcription via Fight Opinion:
“You know, one thing that just seems to keep following me around like a bad small is a match-up with Andrei Arlovski, I don’t know why. It doesn’t matter whether he’s on a losing streak or a winning streak or Japan or the US, his name keeps popping up consistently. So I imagine he’s probably going to be the first on the list.”
Barnett also clarified remarks he made about Strikeforce having the best heavyweight division in the world. According to Josh, the stronger division is based upon which organization he is currently signed to.
“If [the UFC] wanted to have the best heavyweight division in the world, they could have picked me up if they wanted to but it’s their decision. I think they’re happy with at least promoting it as the best division in the world, not saying they don’t have quality fighters but I think as long as they can control the image of it then that’s all that matters to them.”
As for Barnett’s standing with the CSAC, now that his year of ineligibility is up, all he needs to do is pay a $2,500 fine, complete a standard application for a license, and of course, pass a drug test.
Image via Sherdog