Last night, the Pro Elite-owned English-based mixed martial arts promotion, Cage Rage, hosted its 27th event dubbed "Step Up" at the Wembley Arena in London, England. Add only 126 miles away in Nottingham, its own welterweight champion, Paul "Semtex" Daley, was fighting for a rival organization, Cage Warriors.
Daley decided to take a break from competing after his January win over Sam Morgan in Atlantic City, N.J.. He went as far as to say he was retiring from MMA altogether. However, last night -- just under six months after announcing his retirement -- Daley was back in action.
He decided to make his return in his hometown of Nottingham with a local organization. His contract with Pro Elite is non-exclusive, but one can imagine the promotion didn't like one of its champions fighting for the other guys ... on the same night they're hosting an event.
Daley made the dispute public with some comments before this fight, but despite the hesitation from Pro Elite, the fight happened anyway ... and Daley did not disappoint. His opponent was no push over either. Bojan "Zelva" Kosednar was undefeated at (6-0) coming in and many expected him to put up a decent fight.
That didn't happen.
"Semtex" made short work of Kosednar, handing the Slovenian his first defeat in just four minutes and fifty three seconds. This gives Daley thirteen career technical knockouts and marks his sixth win in a row.
There are some good match-ups for him in Elite XC's welterweight division. We know Diaz can fight there, or possibly at a catchweight, but he already has fights lined up. The more likely candidates are guys like Hector Lombard, Jay Heiron, Jake Shields, Nick Thompson and maybe even Eddie Alvarez at a catchweight. The point is, he should be welcomed back to Elite XC with open arms -- even with the dispute over fighting for Cage Warriors.
Here are the rest of the results for Cage Warriors: "Enter The Rough House 7:"
Simeon Thoresen defeats Matt Thorpe by submission (Kimura) at 51 seconds of Round 1
Andre Winner and Abdul Mohammed fight to a Draw.
Paul McVeigh defeats Steve McCombe at 2:27 of Round 2 (Rear Naked Choke)
Jim Wallhead defeats Fabricio Nascimento by Unanimous Decision.
Lee Livingstone defeats Wayne Murray by submission at 1:32 of Round 1 (Triangle Choke)
Cliff Hall defeats Rocci Williams (Guillotine Choke) at 2:24 of Round 1
Chris Cooper defeats Tommy Rasmussen by technical knockout (strikes)
Pete McGurk defeats John Phillips (Armbar) at 1:05 of Round 1
Eddie Podolski defeats John Brotherhood (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:08 of Round 1
Kristoff Woodhouse and Lee Donald fight to a Draw.
Matteo Minonzio defeats Wayne Buck by technical knockout
Cage Rage 27: "Step Up" featured Phil Baroni's debut at 170 pounds against Scott Jansen as its main event. "The New York Badass" was successful, moving him back over a .500 average in the win/loss column. He landed a right hook in the first round that dropped Jansen and ended the fight.
Coming off three straight losses, this was a "must win" for Baroni and he came through. Believe it or not, there are some marketable fights out there at 170 pounds for him, too. I mentioned welterweight candidates above for Paul Daley ... you can add Phil Baroni's name to that list.
Baroni's next fight is already scheduled against Ron Verdadero (3-5) on August 2 at Icon Sport: "Hard Times" at a catchweight of 175 pounds.
The co-main event for Cage Rage was a heavyweight rematch between Neil Grove and Robert "Buzz" Berry. Grove got the win over Berry the first time with a technical knockout when Berry couldn't answer the second round bell. It took him a couple minutes longer this time around, but the result remained the same.
Grove is now (6-1) with six technical knockouts. Sounds like a fun match-up for Kimbo. I wouldn't mind seeing that. I know the English fans would go crazy. Maybe after Brett Rogers ... who knows.
Here's the rest of the Cage Rage 27: "Step Up" results:
Jason Young defeats Francis Heagney bye decision
Brad Pickett defeats Christian Binda in Round 2 by submission (guillotine)
Robbie Olivier defeats Ashleigh Grimshaw by technical knockout in Round 2
Stav Economou defeats Piotr Kusmierz by decision
Tom Watson defeats John Phillips by decision
Mustapha AlTurk defeats James McSweeney by technical knockout (strikes) in Round 1