Nottingham born mixed martial arts star and kickboxer, Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley is to hang up his fists and call time on a 19-year career after one last hoorah tonight at Wembley Arena.
Daley’s final Bellator MMA fight will be shown on the BBCi player from 6pm and will be against Brazilian born Wendell Giacamo, who’s professional record is 9 wins and 2 defeats.
An orthodox welterweight of near ninety fights in both kickboxing and across the combative arts, Daley has a 43-18-2 record in mixed martial arts including UFC, Bellator, Cage Rage, Final Fight Championship & EliteXC amongst others, his record in kickboxing is an impressive 21 wins and just 3 defeats and he was a Muay Thai King of the Ring European and World champion.
On asked why he feels now is the right time to quit, the 39-year-old, who’s fought on some huge bills from Dubai to Las Vegas, Nottingham to New Jersey, stated “I think it’s time I called it a day, I never wanted to be one of those fighters who went beyond their time”.
“I want to leave on my own terms and the times right.”
Daley, who still lives in Nottingham and went to the Carlton le Willows school as a child, continued “My primary goal as a kid was to be a ninja, I think that’s one of the reasons why I stuck at it. I remember going to my mum saying ‘yeah I’m going to be a ninja’, she said ‘stop dreaming son’ and I think that gave me the little bit of fire to be a professional ninja, and that’s what I am.”
He was banned from UFC in 2009 after hitting his opponent after the bell but said “because of the sort of person I am, I wanted to carry on”.
Daley continued “I was in Vegas fighting at the MGM, but once I got kicked out after Montreal, I was fighting in Sunderland in front of 500 people at a kickboxing match to get a bit of money”.
“I could have stopped, but I had a point to prove and I knew, from the time of the sport at that stage, I already had a solid fanbase, there was only one Semtex”.
On preparing for his last fight at Wembley, Daley stated “It’s definitely going to be emotional, I like to think I would be able to hold it together, but I’ll just see, on a great reception, and I know people have appreciated what I’ve done for the sport, it’s going to be quite difficult to make it to the cage without breaking down, but what you can guarantee, is when I get there, I’m going to put on one hell of a performance”.
One thing we’ve certainly been used to, since making his debut against John Connelly back in 2003, at the Extreme Brawl 3 in Bracknell, that ever-since that first knock-out victory, win or lose, UFC or Bellator, Semtex has always gave a hell of a performance for fight fans to enjoy.
He’ll certainly be missed in the industry, his legacy will forever continue, as Nottingham fight fans understand, he certainly ranks with the best from this famous fighting town of ours.
*Main image @Bellator_Europe Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley is a legend in the mixed-martial arts.