The breakdown in communication between Bellator President Scott Coker and Paul Daley continues.
The history of bad blood between Daley and fellow welterweight Michael Page is no secret, with it finally boiling over last May during a chaotic scene at Bellator 179, in which Daley charged after Page in the crowd following his main-event loss to Rory MacDonald.
Despite that, and fans clamoring for a grudge match between the Brits, Daley (40-15-2 MMA, 6-2 BMMA) and Page (12-0 MMA, 8-0 BMMA) still haven’t settled things in the cage. Both have upcoming fights, too – Daley vs. Jon Fitch on May 12 at Bellator 199 in San Jose, Calif., and Page taking on David Rickels two weeks later at Bellator 200 in London.
So, why aren’t “Semtex” and “MVP” fighting each other next when it seems like an obvious booking? Depends on who you ask.
For Coker, the blame lies squarely with Daley.
“I think that’s something you should ask Paul Daley,” Coker told MMAnytt.com on Friday. “He’s the one that said he wanted to fight (Page), called him out and then he changed his mind. Maybe he will change his mind again, but we’re always going to ask I can assure you.
“Absolutely, I think that fight should happen in the future, and I think it should happen here in the U.K.”
Daley, however, sees it differently.
“Scott has his opinion; it’s his view. He’s bitter,” Daley responded in a text message to MMAjunkie. “He just wanted the Page fight on his timing. They didn’t want to give me the Fitch fight. I forced their hand, no matter how much they try to deny it.
“I’ve asked for both contracts at the same time. (I’ll) sign both. I have the Fitch contract. We just got to negotiate the Page contract, and I will sign that too.”
Daley, 34, has been a constant presence on the Bellator roster since February 2015. He’s earned several wins with the organization, none bigger than his second-round knockout of Lorenz Larkin at Bellator 183 in September.
But Daley has been at odds with the promotion of late. In January, he posted on is Facebook page that Bellator had granted his request to be released, which turned out to be false.
At the time, Coker expressed confidence he would be able to resolve any issues.
“It’s really interesting, because when I think of Paul Daley, I think of one of the most entertaining fighters I’ve ever been around,” Coker told MMAjunkie after Bellator 192. “Some of the best fights in the history of (Strikeforce) were with Paul Daley. I love his fighting style – I’ve always loved him. When I came to Bellator, he was one of the first guys I reached out to.
“But Paul is very emotional, and Paul is Paul. I don’t take it personally. He’s saying what he’s saying. Hey, he’s the one who called out ‘MVP,’ right? He fought Rory (MacDonald), it didn’t work out. He comes after ‘MVP,’ he calls ‘MVP’ out, so I’m thinking, ‘All right, we’re going to do this fight.’ And then the next thing, he’s like, ‘I changed my mind.’ We’ll figure it out with Paul, but I think he’s just being emotional right now, and we’ll all figure it out.”
It would appear they’re still trying to.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Paul Daley responds to 'bitter' Bellator chief Scott Coker's claim he rejected Michael Page fight