Paul Daley and Maiquel Falcao are no longer under contract with Bellator.
Today, the promotion suddenly announced a decision to release the welterweight and middleweight fighters, who’ve both landed in trouble with the law after reported assaults.
Bellator rep Anthony Mazzuca told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the promotion will not retain matching rights and the fighters are free to compete for any other promotion.
“We examine each situation on a case-by-case basis, and in these two instances, the violent nature of both situations has led to our decision to release both fighters from the organization,” he said.
Mazzuca cited Falcao’s involvement in a brawl in his native Brazil and Daley’s conviction on a charge of assaulting and obstructing a police officer, which contradicts public statements given by the fighter about the incident this past December in the United Kingdom.
Daley manager Wad Alameddine said he received word earlier today that Daley had been cut, but was unable to reach his client.
“I’m definitely disappointed,” he said.
In June, Daley told Bleacher Report that the case had been thrown out for “lack of evidence and contradicting witness accounts.”
Alameddine, however, confirmed that the welterweight had, in fact, been convicted of assault and fined for the charge. He said the conviction was noted on a police certificate that recently was forwarded to Bellator, after which communication dropped off.
He also said Daley recently gave hints that he might leave Bellator after recent one-to-one communications with the promotion’s officials.
“I would assume that they’ve taken it to their immigration team, and their immigration team has probably advised them it’s unlikely he’ll get a visa, and the result is they’ve released him,” Alameddine said.
MMAjunkie.com was unable to reach Falcao, who was also cut from his MMA team, Renovacao Fight Team in Balneario Camboriu, Santa Catarina, Brazil, which resides near the scene of the brawl in which he and a teammate were involved.
Falcao and Kaue Mena were at a gas station when Falcao allegedly slapped a woman and a group of men assaulted them in retaliation. Surveillance footage of the incident, which was obtained by a local TV station, showed Mena beaten by several men after being struck by a wooden beam. He lapsed into a coma and was later placed in intensive care. (His latest condition could not be verified at the time of this writing.)
Falcao (31-5 MMA, 3-1 BFC) won Bellator’s Season 6 middleweight tournament before being knocked out by Alexander Shlemenko in February in a battle for the promotion’s then-vacant title. He has not commented publicly on the incident, which reportedly is being investigated by Brazilian authorities.
Daley (33–12–2), meanwhile, fought just this past weekend at Cage Warriors 57, where he won a first-round TKO over Lukasz Chlewicki. Prior to his legal woes, which scratched him from Bellator’s Season 8 tournament, he fought once in the Bellator cage, where he delivered a first-round knockout of Rudy Bears.
Asked whether Team Daley has a plan moving forward, Alameddine said, “No, in short.
“This is all very much fresh. The only thing that Paul does have on his side is that he is a very exciting, entertaining mixed martial artist, and people will always want to see him, wherever he goes. Whether relies on that a bit too much for my liking is one thing, but wherever he goes, he’ll keep doing what he’s doing, and keep knocking people out.”
For more on Bellator’s upcoming schedule, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Paul Daley)