Bellator Improves Image With Release of Bad Boys Paul Daley, Maiquel Falcao

By Rich Bergeron
Greg Bartram – USA TODAY Sports

Bellator confirmed the release of Paul Daley (32-12-2) and Maiquel Falcao (31-5-1) last Thursday after both fighters were implicated in incidents involving altercations outside the cage. The organization is clearly sending a message that they will not tolerate their unruly conduct. Both men were previously released from UFC for conduct issues.

Falcao’s case is the most disturbing of the two, considering a man is in a coma as a result. A few weeks ago in Brazil, Falcao allegedly slapped and shoved a woman inside a gas station in Brazil. A brawl resulted and spilled outside. Both Falcao and Kaue Mena, a member of Falcao’s training team, were apparently struck by wooden boards. The whole incident was reportedly caught on the station’s surveillance system. Mena remains hospitalized as a result of the physical trauma he sustained in the brawl. Both Falcao and Mena were also released from their Renovacao Fight Team in the wake of the violent episode.

Falcao’s UFC release also came after an alleged incident where he injured another woman. They cut ties with him in 2011 after they learned of the woman’s injury in 2002. Falcao fought four bouts under the Bellator banner. He won the season six middleweight tournament, only to be knocked out by Alexander Shlemenko on Feb. 7. There is no word on what charges Falcao might face in this latest incident.

Meanwhile, Daley had some separate legal issues in the UK. He recently pleaded guilty to one count of assault by beating and two counts of obstructing or resisting a constable. Daley’s plea helped him avoid jail time, but the case would continue to cause visa issues for the fighter most famous for sucker punching Josh Koscheck long after the closing bell of their May 2010 UFC 113 bout. Daley lost by unanimous decision and took exception to Koscheck’s trash talking throughout the fight. UFC President Dana White vowed that Daley would never fight in UFC again after that debacle.

The 30-year-old Daley fought just once for Bellator, beating Rudy Bears by TKO back in July 2012. Since then, he’s had three fights with three different promotions, winning all by knockout.

Bellator director of communications Anthony Mazzuca insisted that the releases came after a lengthy review of both cases. “Both fighters are now able to fight wherever they wish and for whoever they wish,” Mazzuca said. “We have retained no matching rights to either fighter. We wish them the best in their future endeavors.”

Bellator may not be considered the most popular franchise in MMA, but they are certainly taking the proper steps to adopt a similar policy to UFC in regards to fighter conduct outside of the cage. Both of these fighters should learn to exhibit more self control, and Bellator will be better off without the distraction their horrendous, out-of-competition behavior brings to the promotion.

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