The most recent ShoXC event on Showtime was an impressive show, but one fighter stood out.
After watching this fighter score a first round knockout in a fight against a guy, Sam Morgan, who had only been knocked out two other times in 28 professional fights, I was left challenging my own fanhood because I had never seen him fight before.
That night Paul Daley (17-6-2) put Morgan on queer street with the nastiest standing elbow I've seen since Anderson Silva's knockout of Tony Fryklund almost two years ago.
Daley -- who hails from Nottingham, England, and is the reigning Cage Rage British welterweight champion -- is one of the most feared strikers in his weight class.
He's aggressive, hits hard and is as strong as an ox. And the scariest thing about him is that at 24-years-old he's only going to get better.
"Semtex" turned down a contract to fight in the UFC and then signed with EliteXC, shocking many fans throughout the MMA world. It's a decision that perhap was the best move for his young career at this time.
Here's a snip from Daley:
"EliteXC has offered me a more flexible contract, plus the UFC 170-pound division is stacked. I want more time to develop and grow as a fighter. I want to be the greatest and I am in no rush."
It's difficult to argue with a guy that young who is realistic, wanting more quality fights under his belt before getting in there with the big dogs.
Daley's last lost came to Luiz Azeredo at Cage Rage 19 in December 2006. He was taken down numerous times in the unanimous decision loss and some people questioned if Daley was just a striker and not well rounded enough to ever become great.
Here are his thoughts:
"I continue to evolve, I have good wrestling, and my Jiu Jitsu is improving. I think my wrestling is underrated, because it is something that people have not seen a lot of. For the Azeredo fight I had to cut 7kg the day before the Weigh-In, so I was very weak and drained for the fight at 73kg. I have been working on lots of stuff, I have great focus and I will prove this."
Since that loss, Daley has reeled off an impressive five-fight win streak all of which by stoppages (strikes). And his opponents were not chumps -- Daniel Weichel (14-3), Paul Jenkins (38-36-7), Duane Ludwig (16-7), Mark Weir (18-15) and Morgan.
Daley has found his confidence and is at the top of his game. He's looking to challenge all comers in the welterweight division of EliteXC. After his most recent win, Semtex was not shy when asked about possible upcoming opponents.
"I'll fight Jake Shields, Eddie Alvarez, anybody they put in front of me. I'm the fucking best, I'll beat all of them."
A young fighter with aspirations of being the best combined with confidence and talent like that is a recipe for success in any sport. Don't be surprised to see Daley in the hunt for the 170-pound EliteXC title real soon.
If he isn't already.
James Iannotti now covers EliteXC news here on MMAmania.com. In addition to regular news updates he plans to provide frequent features on certain fighters to introduce them to our readers.