Highlights from the Ringside 12 Teleconference Part 2: Headliner Paul Daley

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Returning to Montreal 17 months after his infamous UFC 113 post-fight ‘sucker punch’ of Josh Koscheck, Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley faces fellow UFC vet Luigi ‘the Italian Tank’ Fioravanti October 21st in Ringside 12’s main event. He spoke to members of the MMA media by phone from Amsterdam this morning about redeeming himself in Montreal, his preparation for the fight, and whether or not he’ll make weight.

Here are the transcribed highlights (italicized text are notes I’ve added to clarify):

On how he’s feeling on the verge of fighting for the fifth time this year:
“Like every other day here in Amsterdam, I’m tired. We’re out here training hard. It has to be done I guess. Right now my body is tired, but that’s not from the fights, it’s from the training out here. Early on in my career I fought a lot of back-to-back fights. I have a lot of fights if you look at my record (28-11-2) compared to other people at my level. So I’m used to fighting regularly… but when you have to train a lot… it can be tiring. I’ve got a week to go, that’s plenty of time to rest and recuperate and get ready for the fight.”

On plans to train at Tristar in Montreal prior to the fight:
“We will be there… another one of my teammates, (ex-UFC Lightweight) Andre Winner has trained with GSP in Montreal a couple of times. They’re quite good friends and they talk a lot, so we’ve arranged with Georges and Firas (Zahabi) to come out there and train. Make our way… and do any last minute little technical stuff that we have to do.”

On coming back to Montreal and the Bell Centre after UFC 113:
“Well initially I didn’t know the event was going to be at the Bell Centre. I knew Ringside MMA was a Canadian promotion but I wasn’t 100 per cent on where the venue was going to be. I think its quite fitting that the event has me back at the Bell Centre, and it’ll give me a chance to redeem myself. Not only to win where I last lost, but also put on a good sportsmanlike performance, and show that last time was just a moment of craziness.”

On whether the Koscheck sucker punch is something he still thinks about:
“I’ve kind of put it behind me. I have no time to dwell on it because I still have to pursue my career, be the best fighter I can, and make enough money so that I can live and enjoy doing the job I have… I have to move forward.”

On whether he thinks he’ll make weight for the fight (Daley has missed weight four times since January 2010):
“I’m pretty confident that I’ll make weight for this fight. There hasn’t been a time where I’ve trained in Amsterdam and not made weight. They’re pretty hard on me out here, they don’t take prisoners… There’s no favouritism. They don’t care about who I am. It’s just ‘you need to make weight.’ And I have to do whatever I have to do to do that, so it’s cool.”

On his future with BAMMA (British Association of Mixed Martial Arts):
“I’m not sure if the BAMMA fight in December is going to happen to be honest. It’s not something that I’m thinking about. More or less, to me, this is the last fight of the year, so we’ll see.”

On any lingering issues with the Quebec Regie des Alcools Courses et Jeux regarding the events at UFC 113:
“My manager has been in contact. The Quebec commission has been… very understanding. Immediately after the Koscheck incident they treated me very fairly. They didn’t take sides, they just looked at it for what it was. They’ve been very helpful in the build up to this fight. They’ve been working with my manager, and the few issues that we’ve had have been ironed out.”

His thoughts on Luigi Fioravanti:
“I think he’s a very tough guy. He comes out of a very good team, ATT (American Top Team)… All the fighters are strong there and they’re going to present a tough test to anyone who’s fighting them. That being said, I feel I should be able to dispose of this guy in spectacular fashion within the three rounds. But I expect him to be tough, come forward, and make a good fight of it.”

On whether Fioravanti is a big enough name to help Daley work his way back to the UFC, and redeeming himself in Montreal:
“Uh, I’m not really thinking too much about the size of the name, but more so the opportunity… It’s a bit of a god-sent that I’m able to return to the Bell Centre… and fight MMA. Right those wrongs, and show that I can be a sportsman, and that I can put on an entertaining fight. The Koscheck fight wasn’t one of the greatest fights, and I don’t want the people of Montreal to think that that’s my style or that’s how I like to go about doing business. I’ve made adjustments, my wrestling is much better, I’m stronger, my takedown defence is much better, and my submission defence is constantly improving, so I’m there to entertain, and show the fans there what Semtex is really all about, and not just get out quick.”

His current feelings on Josh Koscheck:
“I have no feelings towards him. He’s a good fighter. His last fight against Matt Hughes (UFC 135) was cool, and as a fighter, he’s a good guy. He performs.”

On GSP calling him one of the most dangerous strikers:
“I met Georges when he was over in the UK, in Manchester, and he seemed like a cool guy. He gets along with a lot of the guys I train with such as Tom Watson, who trains out there at Greg Jackson’s, and Andre Winner whose been out there a couple of times… I think more so than just fighting, we’re in the same mindset. I appreciate the good things he said about me as far as my striking goes. It’ll be good to get out there and train with him, see how he handles it, and see if he still gives me the praises after a little sparring, a little play around, so I’m looking forward to that.”

On the evolution of his wrestling game:
“I’ve used defensive wrestling in quite a lot of my early fights, and more recently against Jorge Masvidal (Shark Fights 13), and in Canada against John Alessio (MFC 19). I just fight, and if an opportunity comes up then I’ll take it. I don’t come out of the corner charging for a takedown. I just go with the flow of a fight and just fight. Like water, like Bruce Lee, I just try and be as good as I can everywhere. If the takedown is there, then I’ll take it…”

On his recent decision win against Jordan Radev in September at BAMMA 7:
“My coaches were really happy with my performance. A lot of my fans were as well, because obviously they usually see me come out and I steamroll a guy and I knock him out in the first or second round. There’s not been many opportunities for me to put on a full display of my skills. Constantly I’m either worrying about the takedown, or something like that. But now I’m so confident in my takedown defence that I’m able to relax and just let things go, so I had a fun time in there against Jordan Radev. I was able to do a lot of stuff I’ve been working on, that people haven’t seen me do in a long time… Jordan Radev was a wrestler for the Bulgarian Olympic team…so he presented some real dangerous problems that I dealt with. I’m ready to go onwards and upwards.”

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