“I think the Strikeforce people are very smart in how they offer these fights. I don’t think they want to give me time to prepare for Nick Diaz. I have the name but they want to try to limit my chances as much as possible, flying me out of the country late, sort of backing me into a corner to take the fight. First they wanted me to take in January, and I said no coming straight off the Scott Smith fight. I think they don’t want me to get my stride and prepare for Diaz, is what I feel. But I’m taking the fight, and I’m confident… I do anticipate a difficult fight, but I truly believe as good as people say Nick’s chin is, if i hit him, he’s going to sleep. One other thing for him to think about: there’s elbows in Strikeforce now. He cuts easily, and my elbows are from hell. But he’s not going to come straight on against me. My jab is like most people’s right hand. I could stop him with a cut. I could knee the f— out of him, I could kick him. I could ground-and-pound him. Nick Diaz is in a world of trouble. I’m going to go in there and I’m going to punch, kick and elbow him until the referee pulls me off of him, and that’s exactly how it’s going to happen.”
— Paul Daley talking to MMA Fighting’s Mike Chiappetta about fighting Nick Diaz on short notice
So I guess Paul Daley missed the memo about the heavyweight grand prix postponement. It’s unfortunate Daley didn’t get a longer lead time for this fight, but they needed someone like Nick Diaz to headline this show when they couldn’t secure a venue in time that Josh Barnett could fight in. If not Daley, who else was going to fight Nick?
But I get it. Paul Daley thinks everyone has it out for him. Maybe I would too if I got permanently booted from the UFC, but at some point, Paul Daley is going to have to learn how to play the game. He says he’s “not a kiss-ass, not a company guy,” just someone that speaks his mind and “deals with the consequences afterwards.” Kudos to him for staying true to himself I guess, but there’s a right way and wrong way to go about it, and it seems like Daley is purposely trying to give everyone at Zuffa the middle finger for kicking him out. I went through that “me against the world” phase. I know what it’s like to want to stick it your employer, but I also grew out of it and discovered the world really doesn’t give a crap about me and my piss poor attitude. Hopefully, Paul Daley realizes that before it’s too late, because he is a talented, exciting fighter that has a bright future in this sport if he doesn’t burn all his bridges first.
Image via Dave Mandel for Sherdog