At the pre-UFC 173 media scrum, UFC president Dana White confirmed that he will not be letting Paul Daley enter the Octagon again. Despite a letter sent by representatives of Daley’s and some consideration from White, who had been told by Lorenzo Fertita that the decision would be up to him, the Brit will not be returning to the UFC.
Paul Daley hasn’t fought inside the Octagon since an incident at UFC 113 in which he punched Josh Koscheck intentionally after the final bell. Frustrated at being out grappled for the full fifteen minutes after Koscheck promised a stand-up war, Daley pulled off one of the most unprofessional moves in the promotion’s history.
The Brit earned two impressive victories over Martin Kampmann and Dustin Hazelett which led to his #1 contender fight with Josh Koscheck in May 2010.
Despite Dana White stating that Daley’s incident was not so bad as Jason High’s incident at UFC Fight Night 42 this past weekend, he confirmed that he will not let the Brit appear in the Octagon again. It had been rumoured for months that the added maturity of ‘Semtex’ could lead to a second chance, but that has not come to fruition.
Since being given a lifetime ban post-UFC 113, Daley posted a 11-4 record, signing with Strikeforce and Bellator (though not fighting for the latter before his release) since. He competed for the Strikeforce welterweight title in a fight considered the best one-round fight in MMA history against Nick Diaz, and has wins over Jorge Masvidal and Yuya Shirai since leaving the UFC.
Now competing in BAMMA and K-1, Daley is set to return to MMA at BAMMA 16 in September. He is yet to fight in mixed martial arts in 2014, but has gone 4-0, all via (T)KO, in kickboxing leading up to signing with renowned promotion K-1. Despite being in a good position now, Daley still dreams of a return to the UFC, but this still seems like it will never happen.
Judging by White’s phrasing, he would like to see Daley appear inside the Octagon again, but simply can’t due to the nature of his exit from the promotion.