Paul "Semtex" Daley, 39, competed in his final bout this past weekend, scoring a 2nd round knockout against Wendell Giácomo at Bellator 281. "Semtex" went into the fight in his home country knowing it would be his final appearance.
After an impressive 64 professional fights, “Semtex” has fought in every top promotion throughout the years including Cage Warriors, Strikeforce, EliteXC, Cage Rage, UFC, Bellator. He fought the who’s who of the Welterweights in the process. To celebrate an exciting career, we take a dive into the life of Paul “Semtex” Daley.
“Semtex”, born in London, England to Caribbean parents, moved to Nottingham at an early age of 8 where he played soccer for Nottingham Forest FC. He began training Karate before transitioning to Muay Thai. "Semtex" is also a former member of the British Army, serving as a reconnaissance driver for the Household Cavalry.
He began training in MMA at the age of 18 and made his pro debut at 20, winning by knockout. Later that year he would also debut as a professional Kickboxer, again winning by knockout. Daley would continue fighting professionally for a total of 19 years and battle the likes of Jorge Masvidal, Nick Diaz, Duane Ludwig, Jake Shields, Josh Koscheck, Tyron Woodley, Rory McDonald, Lorenz Larkin, Jon Fitch and MVP to name a few, finishing with a record of 44-18-2 (35 KOs).
After racking up a 22-8 record, "Semtex" would make his UFC debut in September of 2009 where he scored two first round KOs to start off his tenure.
The promotion would put him into a title eliminator bout against Josh Koscheck shortly after where the winner would fight Georges St-Pierre for the Welterweight title. During the first round of the fight Koscheck appeared to simulate being hit with an illegal knee which resulted in a point deduction for Daley, after which Koscheck would use his wrestling to control the remainder of the fight and win a unanimous decision. After the end of the third and final round, Daley approached Koscheck from behind and attempted to hit him in the head with a left hook.
Referee Dan Miragliotta pinned Daley against the fence to subdue him. In an interview at the conclusion of the event, UFC president Dana White announced that he was banishing Daley from the UFC for life.
Following the incident, Daley apologized for his actions, stating there was "no excuse." After a 30-day suspension, he started his journey outside the UFC and knocked out Daniel Acacio at Impact FC 2 and then won a unanimous decision over Jorge Masvidal to get a Strikeforce contract where he would spend the rest of his career employed by Scott Coker in Strikeforce, BAMMA, and then finally Bellator.
"Semtex" is adamant on making this retirement stick and doesn't want to be one of those fighters on the receiving end of a losing streak. Going out on a high with a huge KO in his retirement bout is the cherry on top of an already incredible career. Daley had this to say about a potential follow-up fight:
Daley implies he has some big things planned for retirement and really does not want to compete as a professional anymore. You have to admire him wanting to go out on a high and pulling it off, not many fighters have done that.
So, respect, Paul "Semtex" Daley, ride off into the sunset with your head held high; it really could not have ended any more poetic for someone whose made a career by earning KO after KO.