Paul Daley will have to wait for his chance at redemption against Josh Koscheck, but he has big fish to fry anyway.
Daley's name has long been tied to Josh Kosheck. The two squared off after a host of trash talk at UFC 113 in 2010. After a less than entertaining win for Koscheck, Daley slugged Koscheck in the face after the bell and ended up banned from the UFC for life. Since that night, Daley went 15-4 traveling the world, while Koscheck went 2-6 as his career wound down.
A rematch was booked for this Saturday's Bellator 158 after six years and different career paths. However, Koscheck withdrew from the bout, and Daley told Fightful.com that he wasn't shocked in the least.
“When I signed with Bellator, I thought there was a chance in the fight getting put together. When I saw him cage side and saw the fear in his eyes when I was in Fresno, then meeting at the press conference and seeing his characteristics, and his demeanor, I was pretty confident that he wasn't going to show up to fight in London," Daley said.
When asked about potential reasons that Koscheck removed himself from Bellator 158, Daley mentioned that maybe Koscheck was simply 'comfortable in life.'
“It was no surprise at all. I have no idea why he withdrew. Scared, I would say. Comfortable in his life to say or so. Many different reasons. I would love for the fight to happen. I really really would, but it's not a fight that I'm dwelling on, but for my financially, it'd be great,” Daley said.
In Koscheck's absence Daley will now face Douglas Lima. Lima returns to the cage for the first time in a year, and has won 14 of his last 16 fights. With two wins over Ben Saunders and a former Bellator Championship to Lima's credit, Daley knows this is a big test for him.
“Most definitely. He's a former champion, a great fighter. A major step up. He's the fighter I picked. When Koscheck pulled out, there was a list of fighters to choose from, and Douglas Lima is who I chose. I know he's dangerous," said Daley.
Daley and Lima square off at Bellator 158 Saturday night on Spike TV from London, England.
By Sean Ross Sapp