Raymond Daniels has spent 13 years putting together an illustrious kickboxing career in which he’s won multiple world championships. He also tried his hand at MMA during this time – only once, way back in 2008 – and it didn’t go well, with him losing by second-round submission under the now-defunct Strikeforce banner.
Fast forward to earlier this month, and Daniels decided to give it another go at MMA against a man named Wilker Barros, who was making his professional at Bellator Europe 2.
What would Daniels have in store for his MMA encore nearly 11 years later? Only the frontrunner for “Knockout of the Year.”
Daniels, 39, used his kicks for most of the first round, pretty much having his way with Barros. Then Daniels hit a spinning back kick that put Barros on his butt near the fence. At that point, Daniels calmly walked forward and then leaped into the air, spun around and landed a right hand for a dazzling – not to mention staggering – finish.
But as Daniels explained this week on “Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show,” that’s not how he drew it up.
“Officially that was actually a cheat 720,” Daniels said. “Even though it came out with a punch, it was actually supposed to be a kick. I was supposed to actually land a kick, and it ended up being a punch just for the simple fact that he disengaged and created more space, and it would’ve been too far for me to throw the kick, so I closed the distance with my hands after I landed.”
Imagine if it had been a kick.
One thing is for sure: If we see Daniel’s in the cage again, be on the lookout for something to make us go whoa.
“I just like to go out there and try to do something a little bit more spectacular,” Daniels said, “something a little fancier that people can only see in a movie.”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Raymond Daniels explains how 'Knockout of the Year' frontrunner was botched – but still spectacular