Paul Daley’s post-fight punch against Josh Koscheck at UFC 113 was considered the worst display of sportsmanship in MMA. The heated tension leading up to and during the bout was settled when a unanimous decision announced Koscheck as the winner. After the bout, Daley famously sucker-punched Koscheck. A furious Dana White responded by banning Daley stating “He will never fight in the UFC again.” Daley continued competition with other promotions including Bellator, where he’s fought steadily since 2014.
But with recent incidents including a notorious Irishman, a discussion has ignited regarding the tolerance of bad behaviour accepted in the UFC. McGregor’s dolly attack on a bus holding fellow UFC fighters leaves him facing two felony charges of criminal mischief and ten misdemeanours. Dana’s initial reaction was disgust but within 72 hours, a shift changed recollecting that worse things have happened in sports.Paul didn’t face any criminal charges for his flare-up, yet he continues to be the only fighter ever banned from the promotion.So do eight years and 17 wins of 23 bouts since give him a chance of reconciliation with the UFC? Paul’s coach David Templar spoke to MMA UK
“I think we will be back to UFC very soon, Paul was young. Now he has a family and is a changed man. Paul’s incident doesn’t even come close to Conor’s incident or Jones’ hit and run.”
During a Bellator 183 press conference in September 2017, Paul stated he was looking to finish his career with super fights to build his legacy in the sport. Several names including Josh Koscheck and Nick Diaz were mentioned.Early in 2018 Daley publicly criticized Bellator MMA, stating he would leave the company after his contract was up because he felt the company was not properly utilizing him. President Scott Coker responded stating the dispute with Daley would be resolved, following with a fight booked between Paul and former UFC welterweight title challenger Jon Fitch. The welterweight bout will co-headline the main card at Bellator 199 on May 12 at SAP Center in San Jose, California, airing on the Paramount network.Welcoming Jon Fitch to the Bellator promotion falls under his “super-fight” wishes but if the competing promotion had a change of heart, it’d be interesting to see which company Paul decides to finish his career with.