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Paul Daley rips MVP: ‘He needs to fight solid opponents’

Joe Joyce v Ian Lewison Weigh In Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images for Hayemaker Ringstar

The first Michael Page vs. Paul Daley fight sucked by all objective metrics. But would it be foolish to hope a second fight (in both fighters’ home country of the UK) could be better? Maybe so, but since it’s Bellator and DAZN that’d be footing the bill I’m willing to take that chance.

So is Paul Daley, it sounds like. Daley is still sore about losing the big nothingburger of a ‘fight’ to Page, arguing that he did slightly more nothing than the nothing Page did. The proof? That “MVP” wasn’t able to pull off any of that flashy stuff.

“He couldn’t do what he normally does to everybody else (when we fought),” Daley said when he was interviewed on this weekend’s Bellator Europe 6 event (via Bloody Elbow). “In my mind I thought I won that fight. The only way to make it more convincing to everybody else is to take him out before the judges. If that fight is going to happen it needs to be a big fight. It needs to happen here in 2020, at Wembley in 2020.”

The last fight was held in Connecticut in order to maximize the number of DAZN viewers in the United States that could tune into the fight. Fortunately, the first fight sucked so bad that maybe that isn’t so much of a concern for the streaming company any more?

There’s still certainly enough bad blood between Daley and Page to promote things. Daley made it clear after this weekend’s latest highlight reel “MVP” knockout (watch the finish here) that the only thing propping Page up was favorable Bellator matchmaking.

“This is ridiculous, you can’t continually beat these kind of opponents,” Daley said. “Yes, he knocks them out. But he’s expected to knock them out! What does this prove? The fact that he knocked out a guy nobody will remember? It proves nothing. It proves nothing at all. Why didn’t he do that to me? Why didn’t he do that to Douglas Lima? Because he’s not of that caliber.”

“I need to see more from Michael Page, in my opinion, whether it’s a rematch with me or a rematch with another top-tier fighter. Does a win over this guy warrant a title shot? In my opinion it doesn’t. Yes, he’s a star. Yes, people love him. But can he really fight? The two times he’s stepped up, on paper, he’s got a ‘victory’ over me. Most people, including me, thought he lost that fight. Second time he stepped up against the champion, who I went three rounds with, he gets knocked out cold. So he needs to fight solid opponents instead of feeding him these guys.”

To be fair, there’s no shame in losing to Douglas Lima. And no shame in winning against Paul Daley, even if the fight was a black hole of entertainment that swallowed 25 minutes of our lives with nothing good to show for it. But past that, Daley wasn’t wrong, and he was even surprisingly respectful when it came to his statements. Lots of ‘in my opinion’ and ‘most people’ qualifiers to express that’s just how some see it. And yeah, a lot of people do agree:

Although to be fair, it’s not like Daley is constantly getting the hardest matchup. His latest victim Saad Awad is 23-13 and was on a three fight losing skid before he was miraculously chosen to face “Semtex.” We thank him for his sacrifice. That’s just how Bellator seems to operate with its non-title contender stars outside of the big fights. Guys like “MVP” get random Italian opponents who have never competed in Bellator before. We get highlights on Sunday morning.

It’s an okay arrangement, but we’d take Michael Page vs. Paul Daley 2 over it, even if it ends up another turd like the first fight.

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