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Bellator 183 winner Paul Daley made peace with Lorenz Larkin following KO


SAN JOSE, Calif. – Paul Daley on Saturday proved he’s still one of the best welterweights in the world when he demolished Lorenz Larkin for a second-round knockout in the Bellator 183 co-main event.

After losing a lopsided fight to Rory MacDonald earlier this year, Daley (40-15-2 MMA, 6-2 BMMA) bounced back with a stellar performance against former Bellator title challenger Larkin (18-8 MMA, 0-2 BMMA), finishing the fight with yet another highlight knockout for his lengthy sizzle-reel.

Daley’s victory, which co-headlined the Spike-televised card at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., following prelims streamed on MMAjunkie, was easily the most significant of his Bellator career, but it certainly wasn’t surprising to him.

“People, they just underestimate the power so much,” Daley told MMAjunkie after his win. “I don’t understand why. I’ve got 40 wins and 35 knockouts. Why would you want to stand and trade with me? It’s ridiculous. But I got the win. I’m happy, and I’m looking on to the future now, getting into title contention, big names, big fights and more money.

“Every time I get a knockout I feel fantastic. Winning definitely beats losing. The last time I lost against Rory MacDonald, so, it’s fantastic. Lorenz, he was just in my changing room, he’s genuinely a nice guy. He said I got under his skin a bit, and he just wasn’t used to the whole trash-talking thing. He’s a top name. He’s beaten former UFC champions. He’s beaten some top guys. For me, it’s a massive, massive win.”

Daley’s patented left hook was certainly the most significant contributor to his win, but apparently the mental warfare prior to the contest was meaningful, as well. The Brit talked a big game ahead of Bellator 183, as he normally does before his fights, and Larkin was admittedly irked by it.

That tension spilled over to the ceremonial weigh-ins a day prior to the event, when Larkin decided to push Daley and engage in a scuffle during the staredown. Daley said the weigh-in antics somewhat got to him, but apparently not as much as Larkin, who “Semtex” had a peace-making moment with backstage after the fight.

“He came back to the changing rooms, and we spoke a little bit,” Daley revealed. “He’s a cool guy. I don’t know why everyone gets so wound up. They know what (expletive) I’m going to do; I do it every time. I talk a bit of (expletive). I wind them up at the press conference or whatever. He just bit.”

Daley’s win kept his position as one of the top 170-pound contenders in Bellator. At 34, he has said he only has a few years of fighting left, and he wants to use that time participating in the biggest fights possible.

A matchup that’s been brewing with great fan interest is against his countryman Michael Page (12-0 MMA, 8-0 BMMA). There appears to be a genuine disdain between the two competitors, and Daley said it’s just a matter of time until they share the cage, even if he doesn’t see “MVP” as being on his level.

“‘MVP’s’ been talking, but with this win, I think I’ve leapt over that kind of fight,” Daley said. “But I’m open to the fight, because it’s a big fight. I’m just looking for the money and waiting for the title shot. Standup fighters like ‘MVP,’ they can’t beat me. They don’t understand I just have to touch them once, and then it’s lights out. So, it’s whatever. Whatever happens.”

For complete coverage of Bellator 183, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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