Paul Daley explains why he backtracked on retirement talks ahead of Bellator 260

Paul Daley has mentioned this love for the martial arts stored him in MMA, regardless of saying that he was contemplating retirement final year.

The Nottingham fighter is ranked quantity 6 within the Bellator welterweight division, and faces quantity 3 contender Jason Jackson on Friday evening with champion Douglas Lima defending his belt in the primary occasion.

And regardless of having gold always elude him all through his career, Daley does consider {that a} potential title battle is feasible if he retains profitable in opposition to prime contenders.

Speaking solely with Mirror Fighting ahead of Bellator 260, the previous UFC and Strikeforce fighter mentioned that he may battle on for so long as there’s curiosity.

“I just enjoy it, you know, the training is really enjoyable at the moment,” Daley mentioned when requested why he determined to proceed on with preventing.

“There was a point, especially with covid it was dragging but I’ve got a new coach and I’m rejuvenated.

“I similar to martial arts, I like competing, and if you happen to knew me correctly you would not be stunned that I’m nonetheless preventing, I’ve been coaching the martial arts since I used to be seven-years-old.

“I’m a martial artist at heart, I’m not only a fighter.”

Paul Daley is again within the Bellator cage this Friday evening

Jackson offers Daley a chance to climb one step nearer to a different title battle, however might be a tricky ask having just lately dispatched of Neiman Gracie and former UFC champion Benson Henderson.

“He’s ranked higher than me, and it’s interesting because this matchup was made before and at the time I was pretty dismissive of the fight,” Daley continued.

“But he’s gotten a lot better, now it’s a fight that I’m really looking forward to. He’s generally a more all-round fighter with great composure, straight shots, a good takedown defence, good on top and he can trip well in the clinch.”

Daley expects to stay round at his catchweight of 175 lbs, 4 greater than the welterweight restrict permits, however would entertain slicing the additional few for a title alternative.

“I love the weight of 175 lbs, Scott Coker has said he can see why I’d want to compete here because I’m looking really good and feeling comfortable.

“I’ll battle as usually as I can, after I was a free agent at one stage I fought 12 occasions in 18 months, and I believe I may try this once more to be sincere.”

Elsewhere on the card, Birmingham Aiden Lee takes on wrestling standout and number six ranked prospect Aaron Pico in a featherweight clash with massive implications.

“Aaron Pico is a bit of a poster boy for Bellator,” Lee told Mirror Fighting ahead of the bout. “But as soon as I beat him, it is going to add a lot extra to my hype.

“He’s a good, high level fighter, great skills on the feet and wrestling but I’m equally high level and I am ready to smash this guy.

“This is a giant alternative for me, my first battle in America, it is on the primary card and there are followers again so I’m excited to rise to the event.”

Watch Bellator 260: Lima vs. Amosov dwell on BBC iPlayer from 10:30pm BST on Friday, June 11

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