Paul “Semtex” Daley would be the British Association of Mixed Martial Arts welterweight champion right now, if he had made weight for his title fight against Yuya Shirai.
Daley tipped the scales at 172lbs. yesterday, two pounds over the allowable limit for a title fight. After being given an hour to shed the rest of the pounds, Daley weighed 170.4lbs, changing the status of his contest with Shirai from a five-round title fight to a three-round non-title affair. Daley spoke with AddictedMMA after missing weight to issue an apology and to promise fans a knockout regardless.
“I apologize to Shirai and the fans for missing weight. Although the fight is 3 rounds now, I only need 1 round to knock him out,” he said. “The fans come to see me win the title but I promise them, title or not, I’ll win this fight and win it in style. Then I’m going after Diaz and I want to send him out the message that I mean business with my performance (tonight).”
Knock him out he did, with an uppercut in the very first round. BloodyElbow.com reports that Daley made quick and easy work of Shirai, hurting the Japanese fighter repeatedly with his vaunted punches before sealing the deal with a devastating uppercut. Daley’s victory paves the way for an intriguing Strikeforce title fight against champ Nick Diaz, as per promotion CEO Scott Coker’s recent indications.
In other action on the card, former UFC heavyweight champ Ricco Rodriguez put together his eleventh win in a row by dominating The Ultimate Fighter season ten contestant James McSweeney en route to a unanimous decision.