Being in quite the similar situation, former UFC welterweight Paul Daley says he understands why the company would likely sweep the Conor McGregor incident under the rug.
The professional relationship between welterweight fighter Paul Daley and the UFC did not end quite well. When “Semtex” decided to throw a sucker punch at Josh Koscheck after the bell of their three-round fight at UFC 113 in 2010, the company decided to release him and ban him for life.
Fast forward to recent events eight years later, where former two-weight world champion Conor McGregor will likely go unpunished after his UFC 223 rampage that caused major property damage, injuries to two fighters, and three fight cancellations. Daley does recognize some similarities in the situation with his, but he is not griping about it at all.
“I’ve seen all the comparisons, and yeah, the whole situation, it was very similar, and Dana could come across as being a little hypocritical,” Daley said on Monday’s episode of the MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting). “But for me, it’s a different ballgame.”
“The UFC was in a different place then and it’s in a different place now, and a lot of where they are now is down to Conor McGregor. So if you’ve got someone bringing in money, and is raising the sport and your promotion to greater heights, then you can’t ban him for life because business is going to go bad for you. So I understand.”
“Yeah, really, he should be treated the same as I was,” he continued. “He should be banned for life. What he did as a guy with his profile in the sport and for the company of the UFC, he should be banned for life, if, for what I did, I got banned for life. But business and business and they need him, and I like Conor McGregor and I respect him, and I respect Dana’s choice. It’s a smart move.”
As of the moment, the chances of Daley being re-signed to the UFC are slim to none. But if he was offered a contract by some twist of fate, he admits he would not turn it down.
“I never really had bad feelings towards Dana, because I will make my way in this sport anyway, regardless of what barriers people put up for me because I am an entertaining fighter. People want to see me fight,” Daley said. “I feel like that’s something that I have up on some other guys who wouldn’t really get away with sh-t that I say because I entertain. I knock people out. I talk the talk and I walk the walk. I always put it on the line.”
“So if Dana came to me with a proposition, I would probably take it because I feel there’s some big fights that could really elevate my financial situations to a whole other level.”
Daley is currently scheduled to face fellow ex-UFC veteran Jon Fitch at Bellator 199 on May 12th in San Jose, California.
The interview begins at the 1:19:51 mark of the video above.