• UFC Nottingham

Paul Daley's UFC return highly doubtful

ESPN staff
June 12, 2012 « UEFA to probe Balotelli racism reports | Chartbeat test »

Fans of British welterweight Paul Daley should not expect to see him at the Nottingham UFC event, regardless of the news that he recently severed ties with Strikeforce.

Daley's management team announced a parting of ways with Strikeforce earlier in the week, citing the lack of frequent fights as one of the main reasons for the decision.

Once an exciting talent in the UFC, Daley was axed when he aimed a blatant post-fight punch at Josh Koscheck. President Dana White vowed never to allow him to return, although he is consistently urged to reconsider by fans of the Brit.

The Strikeforce separation feasibly opens the door for Daley's return, but after suffering defeat in his last fight he is in a weak bargaining position. UFC managing director of international business, Marshall Zelaznik, admits he has not discussed the issue with White, but he does not see Daley fighting at the September 29 Nottingham card.

"No I don't believe so," Zelaznik said to ESPN. "I don't have any inside information but I believe that contract has gone and I don't see Dana changing his mind to bring him back in."

The Nottingham event, while largely met with huge anticipation, has already come under fire in certain sections of the MMA community for the £75 cheapest ticket price. Zelaznik explained that, unlike the bigger arenas where seats are far from the Octagon, anybody who attends at the Capital FM Arena will be extremely close to the action.

"It'll be one of the smaller arenas we've used, it's something like 8,000 seats, so there's not going to be a bad seat in the house. You can expect it to be one of the more intimate UFC events we've done anywhere in the world," he explained.

"Every time we come to England, the fighters always deliver and those lucky enough to get a ticket will see a great event.

"There is going to be a lot on the line for a lot of the fighters, these fights in the UFC are becoming more and more meaningful because we're putting so many fights on. The pressure is on and the fighters will be watched closer than ever to see how they're doing.

"That usually translates to extremely exciting fights. In this sport, if you get one big pop, one big performance, your stock rises rapidly. So all of these guys have to put it all on the line.

"The one thing with the Arena is that it is small so there isn't a bad seat. We've had lower ticket prices at other events but those seats are high up and far away from the Octagon. Therefore you cannot ask them to pay so much.

"But a £75 seat in this Arena will feel like a £125 seat at the O2 Arena, it will be a quality card and the seats will be amazing."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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