The saga surrounding welterweight Paul Daley’s relationship with Bellator took another twist today after CEO Bjorn Rebney clarified his company’s stance on the Brit’s ability to compete in a different organization while riding out a legal matter. According to Rebney, though the company is exploring the option, nothing has been made official and as it stands Daley is not currently free to fight elsewhere.
“We’re currently trying to work through a structure that might allow him to fight outside our contract. We’re not doing shows in the UK and he’d like to fight. We’ve done it with Eddie Alvarez and I think Hector Lombard fought outside our agreement five times. We’re trying to make that work, but there’s a process that we have to go through,” explained the Bellator chief in a conversation with Bloody Elbow. “There’s a regimented process with paperwork and approvals and the like. We’re worldwide exclusive promoters, and we’re trying to work through it, and I’m hoping we can get something done, but that remains to be seen.”
“By no means is it official yet,” he continued. “Like I said, there’s a process here, and over a dozen of our fighters have followed it and fought outside their agreements successfully. That process has yet to be followed here, and there’s nothing official. We’ll wait and see. If we can get it done to our satisfaction, we’ll allow it to happen, and if we can’t, then we won’t. For the time being, nothing has been approved. If the process that we’ve laid out is followed, I think a fight for him could occur, but until that happens, he’s in a hold mode, and we’ll see what happens.”
Daley was scheduled to take to the cage as part of Bellator’s upcoming welterweight tournament but was arrested for assault and cannot travel overseas as a result. In response, he initially came forward to say Bellator was not allowing him to fight in the United Kingdom, where he resides, but retracted the statement shortly thereafter while saying the matter had been resolved.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE/BELLATOR