Or at least according to ESPN:
English welterweight Paul Daley has been removed from Bellator MMA’s upcoming Season 8 170-pound tournament, according to a representative for the promotion.
Daley, 29, is barred from entering the U.S. after being charged with assault stemming from a bar fight, the promotion said. He faces up to two years in prison.
Once a promising welterweight prospect, Paul Daley has proved that ability is no match for good sense. Whether it was missing weight (four times) or deciding that it would be a good idea to punch Josh Koscheck in the chops after the final bell, Daley has continually done incredibly stupid things that have made career advancement a difficult endeavor to say the least. But Daley himself says the story is bullshit…
It’s seems as though a mass press release has gone out to the MMA media, stating I was involved in a bar brawl, arrested, and cannot obtain a P-1 visa to compete in the USA.
…I am currently awaiting a decision on my visa, which is not expected until late April. Which means i am unable to compete in the season 8 Bellator tournament, as it starts in January.
I will be fighting in Europe in the coming months, so I am able to stay active while awaiting a decision on my visa status.
I was not involved in a bar brawl. This is 100% a false statement.
So who to believe – the generally reliable ESPN, or Paul Daley, who always seems to have a story or an excuse for why things in his career keep going wrong? Regardless, the result of this is the same: Daley won’t be fighting for Bellator this season, and that’s a loss for everyone who enjoys themselves some big dumb bomb throwing MMA.
Talk about a shitty Christmas. I got pots and pans and a good bout of diarrhea, and I’m considering mine a glaring success after reading Daley’s story. Perspective is everything I suppose.