Paul “Semtex” Daley. Photo by Tom Casino/EliteXC.
Despite announcing his intention to retire from mixed martial arts earlier this year, welterweight sensation Paul “Semtex” Daley will return from a brief hiatus from the sport to go up against undefeated Slovenian Bojan Kosednar at Cage Warriors’ latest “Enter the Rough House” this afternoon.
However shaking off a little ring rust isn’t Daley’s biggest problem these days. His latest woes involve his current relationship with EliteXC parent company ProElite, with whom he has one-fight left on his deal with the organization.
“I’ve got a few things I want to get out in the air with regards to Pro Elite, Cage Rage and the future,” Daley said in a recent interview with Fighters Only Magazine. “I’ve got no contract with Cage Rage, my contract stands with Pro Elite. My fight with Cage Warriors seems to be a problem with the guys at Pro Elite.
“They tried to get me to fight for Cage Rage, which I wasn’t going to do on the principle that I’ve agreed to fight in my hometown,” Daley continued. “They’ve gone about it in a not so pleasant way, I think they could have gone about it a lot better. I can’t say much more for legal reasons but I think Cage Rage have had a lot to do with it.”
While it’s pretty easy to see why ProElite would want to use Daley in a Cage Rage show being that they are in a working partnership with the promotion, Daley claims that the company originally had no problem with him fighting for Cage Warriors this weekend but has since changed their stance on the situation.
“There wasn’t a problem initially, but then other people, outside sources, got involved,” Daley said. “Me just fighting on Cage Warriors didn’t seem to be a problem, then there was a date clash with Cage Rage, a lot of fans think the Cage Rage card is not as strong as it has been in the past.”
“I am the Cage Rage world champion, but I don’t have a contract with them,” he continued. “As the champion, what they were offering me to fight and how they were treating me was not how I feel I should be treated considering what I’ve achieved.”
After deciding to go ahead with his planned return to action with Cage Warriors, Daley now says that ProElite has threatened to use legal action if he does indeed fight.
“They’ve basically said if I fight it’s going to be in the hands of the legal team,” said Daley. “I hope that I can work it out with Pro Elite, on a personal level they’re good people. I tried to explain to them, this is a full-time job for me. I need to fight to get money, they did offer me to fight on Cage Rage on the same day, for a number of reasons I can’t list, I didn’t take that. On a personal level, I felt that I had already agreed to fight for Cage Warriors so that was what I was going to do.”
Now here comes the shady part. After Daley refused to fight for Cage Rage, ProElite instead offered him a bout against Rory Markham at the next edition of ShoXC: Elite Challenger Series on July 26th. However Markham is currently under contract with the UFC and Daley believes it was an attempt by ProElite to remove him from his scheduled Cage Warriors bout completely.
Daley also points out that the company has let multiple fighters take fights outside of ProElite in recent months. An offer to do the same within the span of two weeks was ultimately turned down.
“A lot of other guys had fought twice in the same month for two different promotions, a non-Pro Elite and then a Pro Elite event,” Daley stated. “I said look, I’ll fight July 12th and I’ll fight July 26th, not a problem. I feel confident in this fight and all being well I would get out uninjured and with a victory and I’d fly straight to America. They didn’t want to hear any of that. I went with Pro Elite because I thought they thought of the fighters, but this has just been a major problem.”
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