On The Spot ~ Paul Daley
posted by J. Andrew Yount
Semtex is described as plastic explosive. Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley is described as human explosive. The native of Nottingham, England is one the best and most powerful fighters in mixed martial arts today. Sporting a 21-8-2 record, with 17 of his victories coming via explosive power, Daley is among the brightest stars in the sport. Fighting primarily out of Europe, Daley has begun to make an impression on American fans. His big punches and aggressive attitude have caught the eye of many promotions, making him one of the most sought after welterweights anywhere in the world.
Daley began training martial arts at the age of seven. It wasn’t long before he was studying film of early UFC fights and fighters. Then came his introduction to Muay Thai kickboxing. The rest would be history. Now fighting out of U.K.’s Team RoughHouse, with such stars as Dan ‘the Outlaw’ Hardy, and The Ultimate Fighter star Andre Winner, he has moved his way up the welterweight ranks. He recently fought Jake Shields for the Elite XC title and has also clashed with Nick Thompson and John Alessio. News recently broke linking Daley to Affliction and their third event. MMA Spot’s J. Andrew Yount caught up with the personable powerhouse to discuss the Affliction news, his travels, and training. See what one of the best pound for pound strikers in the sport has to say about these and other topics.
Can you give us more information concerning your next fight?
Paul Daley: We're in talks with Affliction about a possible fight in August, against Jay Hieron.
I saw where your management said it wasn't locked in, but assuming that the deal is finalized, do you know much about Jay Hieron? What are you expecting from him?
Daley: He’s a tough guy, good wrestler, and good boxing. I expect him to come to fight; he is good at all ranges. So I think he won’t have much of a game plan until he gets hit, then he will be trying to take me down.
How did fighting for Affliction come about? Did they come looking for you or have you had talks with them in the past?
Daley: We were approached by Affliction. Evidently, a few people in the Affliction offices seem to be a fan of my brash fighting style.
You are one of the best welterweights not currently on the UFC roster. You've fought Alessio, Shields, Thompson, and now possibly Hieron. Do you find it hard to get the recognition not being in UFC?
Daley: Yes, it is hard, but I just love to fight. So as long as I am fighting, and the people who see the fights enjoy them, I am happy. But of course, you want to compete with the best, and the UFC has a lot of the best 170lb fighters.
Have you had discussions with UFC in the past? With their recent expansion into Europe are they a possible destination for you?
Daley: My previous management did have a few discussions with the UFC, but I didn’t think I was ready, at the time, to compete for the UFC. But now I think I can compete with a lot of the guys there, and there are some definite exciting match ups for me in the UFC.
You've fought three times this year already, has there been a renewing for you in the sport?
Daley: Like I say, “I love to fight”, and I love to stay busy. I would fight every month if the fight was right, and I was fit.
With all of the retirement news from last year, what was that about?
Daley: Personal issues that we all go through. Sometimes you just need to clear your head of things so you can focus on the things you love.
Did you enjoy fighting for MFC in Canada?
Daley: The show is great. Great fans. And they treat you ok, but there have been a few issues with the organization. All in all, I have nothing bad to say about them.
With all of the high quality opponents on your record, who has been your toughest opponent to date?
Daley: Nick Thompson was a tough guy to fight.
With a lot of European fighters competing in K-1, have you fought there or had any desire to do so?
Daley: I would love to fight for the K-1, but they do not have my weight class in kickboxing.
Is there a special meaning behind the nickname "Semtex"?
Daley: Semtex is a plastic explosive, used to blow things up, take down buildings, bridges...but me, I just take down/KO people!!
With the performances of Team U.K. on The Ultimate Fighter and the successes of Bisping, Hardy and others, what are your thoughts on U.K. fighters as it relates to the rest of MMA?
Daley: There are a lot of great U.K. fighters. The sport is still growing here and I am sure in time we will be producing a lot of great champions competing on the world stage.
Can you give us any information on what happened with BFC?
Daley: I know nothing bro. I was looking forward to competing on the event.
How did you get involved in mixed martial arts?
Daley: I have always been involved in the martial arts since I was a kid. I came across a UFC tape while at school, saw these guys competing and thought,”Damn, I'd love to do this”.
What skills / disciplines have you trained extensively?
Daley: I train in all areas of Mixed Martial Arts. But, I love the Muay Thai kickboxing aspect of the sport.
Do you enjoy training?
Daley: I love training. I love the sport. I don’t know where I’d be without it.
In a recent interview with us, Dan Hardy eluded to some pretty interesting stories about the two of you. Care to share one with us?
Me and Dan have a lot of stories to tell about our early adventures in MMA.... [laughing] ...That’s all I’ll say about that... [more laughing]
Do you have any heroes that motivated you along your way up in the sport?
Daley: I have to say it, Tito Ortiz was a big motivation for me in my early days in the sport! Now, there are so many great fighters I look up to. Some of which I will likely fight somewhere in future.
What do you enjoying doing most when you aren't fighting / training?
Daley: Listen to music. Being creative. I like business, so I’m always looking for new ventures to have a go at. I read a lot. Watch movies, and socialize with friends. Normal stuff.
Do you have any messages for your fans or sponsors you'd like to thank?
Daley: Of course I’d like to thank my team: Team Rough House. All my coaches/mentors. And all fans of MMA everywhere.