As is often the case when a major event is forced to compete with a UFC weekend, there is one extremely interesting bout between two of the games top fighters that has flown under the radar that deserves the sports attention.
This Friday night’s bout between Paul “Semtex” Daley and Nick “The Goat” Thompson is one that could just as well be taking place at Saturday night’s UFC card, but it will be taking place at Canada’s largest fight promotion instead. The two extremely dangerous and highly talented 170 pounders will lock horns at MFC 20: Destined for Greatness. An event appropriately titled as the winner of this bout may very well be headed in that direction.
Long known and feared as one of the game’s most lethal strikers, Daley has the kind of explosiveness, showmanship and stand up firepower that any organization would be glad to add to their roster, but according to Daley there is just one promotion that he has his sights set on for 2009, and it’s easy to see why.
The twenty five year old Nottingham, England fighter stated in an exclusive interview with FiveOuncesOfPain.com conducted just days before his showdown with Thompson, that he has every intention of making his way to the UFC in 2009.
First things first, he has a menacingly experienced and large welterweight in the form of Thompson that he has to deal with this Friday night before he can plan on fighting anywhere.
Cory Brady: Did you expect John Alessio to stand up with you as much as he did?
Paul Daley: I did anticipate for John to stand with me for a little while because he isn’t really a standout fighter in any area. I expected a bit of everything, as he showed with takedown attempts, boxing, etc.
Cory Brady: Where have you spent most of your time training for Nick Thompson and who are some of the key people that have been helping you out?
Paul Daley: I have split my camp between the UK and Holland for my fight with Nick. I have been training in the UK with Dan Hardy, Jim Wallhead and some others.
Cory Brady: I know you have been training with Melvin Manhoef recently. Have you had a chance to work with him at all for this one?
Paul Daley: This fight I did not train so much with Melvin himself, but have still been at the great Mike’s Gym, with all the other great fighters.
Cory Brady: Who has been the base of your training crew?
Paul Daley: The core of my training crew for this fight has been Joey Van Wanrooy, Mike Passenier from Mike’s Gym, Dan Hardy, Jim Wallhead and Lee Livingston.
Cory Brady: What are your thoughts on Nick Thompson and how do you feel you guys match up?
Paul Daley: Nick is a very tough guy. He’s big for a welterweight and well rounded. I don’t mind the height difference at all. I have always been the small guy in the ring or cage but I always find a way to blow away the height advantage.
Cory Brady: Do you feel that Nick is going to try to get you to the ground as soon as possible or do you anticipate for him to try to trade with you at all?
Paul Daley: I don’t think it is that obvious that he will take it to the ground. He has great stand up ability. He showed how good his stand up is in his fight with Eddie Alvarez, who is much the same as me in height and build.
Cory Brady: What do you think of Nick’s wrestling ability?
Paul Daley: I think his wrestling is OK, but he is no Jake Shields and I did pretty good at stuffing some of Jake’s takedowns.
Cory Brady: You don’t expect to have any problems stuffing his takedown attempts?
Paul Daley: His wrestling will not be a problem, I am better than that.
Cory Brady: What would be the absolute perfect ending to this fight for you?
Paul Daley: The perfect ending to this fight would be a victory via KO with a KO of the night bonus, after an exciting fight…of the night.
Cory Brady: Are you under contract with MFC right now or are you a free agent?
Paul Daley: I am not under contract with MFC but I am not a free agent…..Yet.
Cory Brady: I’m going to ask you about three different organizations and I would like to know your brief thoughts on each one and if you would ever consider fighting for any of the promotions in the future.
Cory Brady: Strikeforce?
Paul Daley: Strikeforce is a great organization and they put on great shows.
Cory Brady: Affliction?
Paul Daley: Affliction has great shows, great fight purses and really cool t-shirts.
Cory Brady: Then of course, the UFC?
Paul Daley: I would love to fight for the UFC, as the best fighters in the world in my weight category are there. I would love to fight for the UFC in 2009.
Paul Daley: The matchups I could make in the UFC would be very interesting. I would make sure that I trained my best for them and I think they would be very exciting for the fans.
Cory Brady: I know you hinted at retirement not very long ago. Is there any chance of you stepping away from the sport anytime soon or do you have plans on fighting for a long time?
Paul Daley: I plan of fighting for a long time.
Cory Brady: That’s just about it Paul, is there anyone you want to thank?
Paul Daley: I want to thank the MFC, my coaches and team (U.K. and Holland) and all of my sponsors, Hitman, Pimp it, Gammo O, Ecko, and Jesus Didn’t Tap.