Paul Daley found himself unemployed after his post-fight antics at UFC 113 this past weekend in Montreal.
The trash talk leading up to his bout with Josh Koscheck, which was put on to determine the number one welterweight contender, had gotten personal and heated. This was to be expected as both men have a penchant for playing the heel and it was welcomed, both for the entertainment value and for increasing the likelihood of an exciting, heated fight. Unfortunately, after suffering a unanimous decision loss to Koscheck, a clearly frustrated Paul Daley full on sucker punched Koscheck in the face.
After returning home to the U.K., Daley issued an apology in the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph.
“I’ve had a long flight home to consider my actions and regret the mistake I made on Saturday,” Daley stated. “I would like to apologise to the UFC and the Athletic Commission for what I’ve done as well as all the fans and sponsors that support me.”
“I would also like to offer my sincerest apologies to Josh Koscheck who did not deserve the cheap shot I threw. He did what he needed to do in order to win the fight and get the job done, and I foolishly reacted to the situation.
Daley was quickly restrained after landing the sucker punch by referee Dan Miragliotta, but not before he did irreparable damage to his career. UFC President Dana White said at the UFC 113 post-fight press conference that despite Daley claiming that he hadn’t heard the bell, he had been fired and “will never fight in the UFC again.”
“There is no excuse for my actions and I know what I did was very unprofessional,” Daley continued. “I was immensely frustrated by a collection of things that took place throughout the fight as well as leading up to it, but I’m certainly not trying to condone or excuse my actions.”
Another controversial moment in the fight occurred in the very first round after Koscheck had taken Daley to the ground. Daley stood and tried to land an illegal knee to the grounded Koscheck, which completely missed its mark. Koscheck saw fit to clutch at his face and go down, and the fight was paused. After several minutes of referee questioning and medical examination the fight was restarted.
“Josh implemented his game plan perfectly taking me down and staying on top of me for the majority of the fight,” said Daley. “I was also frustrated about him claiming (and acting like) I knee’d him in the head on the ground when it was clear for all to see in the video replay that I didn’t connect at all with the knee I threw.”
Koscheck had admitted to whispering some unflattering remarks to Daley in the closing moments of the fight, noting, “You will have to ask him what I said but it wasn’t very polite.”
“Then finally, the verbal abuse Josh hit me with in the final 30 seconds of the fight simply pushed me over the edge and my frustrations came out as I knew I’d lost the fight, was unhappy with my own performance and had then been ridiculed by my opponent to top things off,” said Daley. “This is certainly no excuse for my actions; I fully deserve to be punished for what I did and hope that everyone I have disappointed can forgive my rash decision. I feel very disappointed in myself for losing my cool and hope that I am able to address my temperament and bounce back from this low point in my career.
“I feel ashamed and embarrassed by what I did and hope that together my team and I can get through this issue. It will be a long road back from where I am now to earning the trust and respect of the UFC and the MMA fans that have supported me for so long, I know I’ve let you all down but I’m determined to make it up to you all.”
Thanks to Mark Wayne for contributing to this article.