Paul Daley has finally got his wish – a date with Rory MacDonald on May 19, 2017 at London’s SSE Arena, England.
Michael “Venom” Page – “MVP” ain’t gonna like this one bit.
The announcement comes on the heels of Daley’s first-round shellacking (elbow + brutal flying knee) of Brennan Ward at Bellator 170 (Jan. 21, 2017).
At the post-fight presser, following his devastating knockout of “The Irish Bad Boy,” “Semtex” proceeded to call out Bellator neophyte, and top-ranked welterweight MacDonald.
And as fate would have it, the higher-ups seemed to have answered his call (watch here). Now, the two former UFC fighters get to dance the dance.
The “Red King” was once destined for great things – 12 pounds of welterweight gold came within touching distance, but was cruelly snatched away when he could no longer take Robbie Lawler’s precision-like punches to his already-busted nose.
Still, the Canadian sports an impressive resume of upper echelon fighters he upended whilst plying his trade in the WME-IMG owned promotion – sitting UFC welterweight titleholder Tyron Woodley, Jiu Jitsu maestro Demian Maia and former two-weight division champ B. J. Penn.
Come fight night, the questions that we’ll ask – has MacDonald’s nose fully healed? How will he react, if and when Daley connects, and/or connects flush on his schnoz? And finally, will the aforementioned hooter be a deciding factor (he seemed overly cautious against Stephen Thompson) in how the 27-year-old approaches this fight?
Per contra, Daley, 33, who hails from Nottingham, England has been dabbling in both kickboxing and MMA since his second stint under the Bellator banner. Furthermore, just last year, he lost to the promotion’s reigning welterweight champ Douglas Lima.
It stands to reason, that whoever wins this match-up is sure to get the next 170-pound title shot.
Rory (18-4 MMA, 9-4 UFC, 0-0 Bellator)
Daley (39-14-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC, 5-1 Bellator)