Former UFC fighter Paul “Semtex” Daley will probably never win a world title, but he’s a fighter who should get a second chance and be allowed back in the UFC.
Daley has been persona-non-grata with UFC President Dana White ever since he attempted to sucker punch Josh Koscheck after a fight in 2010. Koscheck had spent the last three rounds on top of him like a jockey on a horse and Daley lashed out in frustration.
Daley unfortunately lashed out at the UFC and White after he was cut. Three years later, out of other MMA options, Daley has come back groveling. He recently tweeted: “I’ve got a little son now…please help me feed him…”
White doesn’t owe anybody any charity, but his hardline against Daley is worth reconsidering. Daley showed little class in trying to hit Koscheck when he wasn’t looking, but it is fighting and Daley was just frustrated with being out-hustled and out-wrestled in the cage. He said he learned his lesson. In 13 fights since the Koscheck loss, Daley has played by the rules.
From a pure skill standpoint, Daley is good enough to compete in the UFC. It’s true that he can’t wrestle or grapple, but he’s still an exciting fighter to watch. He has fists of dynamite and is a walking highlight reel. Every athlete in the UFC doesn’t have to be a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt.
Look at a guy like Robbie Lawler, who has recently experienced a career resurgence. He’s not great on the ground, but he has found success in the UFC at the age of 31. Daley is a similar type of fighter and is younger and quicker. Put these two guys in the cage on UFC on FOX and someone is not making it out of the first round.
Helping out Daley doesn’t need to be on the top of White’s list of good deeds today. But it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to help the guy out. He’s remorseful for his actions, hungry to fight again and talented enough to hang with many of the guys in the UFC.