Bellator 183 goes down this weekend and in the co-main event it will be a welterweight showdown between Lorenz Larkin and Paul Daley.
After Daley called out Michael “Venom” Page in London earlier this year, many believed that the next logical step for Daley would be to face his fellow Brit. That plan didn’t come to fruition though and speaking to MMAUNO.com earlier this week, Daley explained why.
“After MVP did that campaign to try and get the next fight I was looking at what I had,” Daley said. “In terms of my personal life and scheduling and things that I needed to get done, I had business opportunities with my academy and that, so I basically just said to Bellator what can we do in this timeframe?
“The Lorenz Larkin fight worked for me and it worked for him in terms of when he wanted to fight next. That’s simply how it worked out. I wanted it, he wanted it.”
Both Daley and Larkin are coming off the back off big losses earlier in the year. In May, Daley lost to Rory MacDonald in the main event of Bellator London, while Larkin lost to Douglas Lima when he challenged for the title in his Bellator debut in New York in July.
You might think that both men have a lot of pressure on their shoulders heading into Saturday’s fight, but Daley insisted it’s business as usual for him.
“Every fight at this level, there’s always so much at stake, especially someone like me who is so far into their career,” Daley said. “I’m a well-known fighter so there’s always a risk, but as long as I’m in the right frame of mind I don’t care. I don’t look at what could be, I just make sure that I’m prepared and what will be, will be.”
Despite Larkin’s lengthy background in both Strikeforce and the UFC, Daley claims he knew very little about his adversary before the papers got signed. Having looked him up since, Daley is hoping it’s going to be a war waged on the feet and that both men get to showcase their standup fighting.
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) September 19, 2017
“I don’t really know much about him, I didn’t pay attention to the guy until he came to Bellator and that’s the gods honest truth,” Daley said. “I’ve been looking at his previous guys and the guys he’s fought against and I’m getting an idea about who he is as a fighter. I think we match up well and I look forward to the fight. I think he brings a unique style and yeah, I hope it plays out like it does on paper. We are both standup guys and we will go and see whose standup is best.”
“If Lorenz keeps it on the feet, he’s getting knocked out very quickly. A fight is a fight though so let’s see what happens. I don’t really do predictions, but the prediction I usually give is that I’m going to win by knockout. That’s always my intention but we will see on the night.”
At 33-years-old, Daley admits himself that he’s in the twilight of his career. Having set himself a retirement date a long time ago, he still believes that he’s going to keep to it.
“I’ve always given myself a timeframe, but I will never officially announce my retirement, but I’ve said I don’t’ want to fight too much past the age of 35,” Daley said. “I feel like I’ve achieved enough and that I’m in a position to step away from fighting for a little while. Unless a big opportunity arises, I will do that. 35 seems like a good age and it looks like I’ll stick to that.”