Photo by Esther Lin for Strikeforce
Just one day after a report surfaced that Paul Daley was arrested for assault in connection with an unsanctioned bar brawl, "Semtex" released a statement today that refuted the story.
However, according to the British brawler, the circumstances for his withdrawal have to more to do with standard visa issues and nothing to do with a bar brawl that got him arrested and facing two years in the United Kingdom penal system.
Here it is:
"It seems as though a mass press release has gone out to the MMA media, stating I was involved in a bar brawl, arrested, and cannot obtain a P-1 visa to compete in the USA.... I am currently awaiting a decision on my visa, which is not expected until late April. Which means i am unable to compete in the season 8 Bellator tournament, as it starts in January. I will be fighting in Europe in the coming months, so I am able to stay active while awaiting a decision on my visa status. I was not involved in a bar brawl. This is 100% a false statement."
For what it's worth, Daley completely debunks the bar brawl scenario, however, he doesn't confirm or deny that he was recently arrested on an assault charge. This could all just be "Semtex" semantics or the report could have been premature or "false" altogether.
With little to no access to international arrest records, we'll have to wait and see how the situation pans out.
In the meantime, Daley will continue to ply his mixed martial arts (MMA) trade overseas and the Bellator tournament will go on without him, featuring the likes of Ben Saunders, Douglas Lima and possibly Daley's originally scheduled opponent, "War Machine," if he can recover from a serious knee injury, among others.