LOS ANGELES – UFC President Dana White has heard Paul Daley‘s pleas for a new UFC contract, but he remains hesitant to bring the welterweight back into the fold.
“I don’t know,” White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) when asked for his reaction to Daley’s attempts to return to the UFC. “Bellator cut him for some reason.”
When informed of the assault conviction that prompted Daley’s ouster from the Viacom-owned promotion, White joked, “Sounds fun. Sounds like something I want to deal with.”
This past weekend at UFC on FOX 8, a reporter suggested the promotion might use Daley (33-12-2) in his native England rather than attempting to secure a visa for the fighter in the U.S. It was with that latter process that White anticipated potential trouble, given the difficulty in getting permission to enter the country. But it was also the fighter’s negative public statements toward the promotion following his release from first UFC contract, which came immediately after he sucker-punched Josh Koscheck three years ago at UFC 113.
“(The government is) real strict here now on visas,” White said. “I thought he hated the UFC and said he’d never want to come back here and never wanted to fight here again. What changed?”
In a recent interview with MMAFighting.com, Daley said his sour feelings toward the promotion had dulled with time, and he believed he would be a perfect fit for the UFC.
“It would be a dream come true to be back with the UFC,” he said. “The things that I did say bad about the UFC, it was like what most fighters would do if they weren’t in the best organization in the world. You don’t want to be No. 2. You want to be No. 1. I just think it’s fitting that I’m in the organization.”
White, though, isn’t sure that’s the case. He grew agitated after hearing the circumstances surrounding Daley’s cut from Bellator.
“So let me ask you a question,” he asked MMAjunkie.com. “You’re a media guy, and you’re asking me about Biogenesis and all this other bulls–t, but you’re asking me will I sign Paul Daley? And you’re telling me he’s just been arrested? Come on, you guys. Come on.”
Outside the UFC, Daley has done quite well in the past year, winning four straight bouts, including one with Bellator, which planned to put him in its Season 8 tournament before his legal woes.
For more on the UFC’s and Bellator’s schedule, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.
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