Tuesday, 25 August 2009 11:53
Mr. Daley, thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview, and congratulations on your hard-earned and well-deserved opportunity in the UFC. Your first opponent is Brian Foster out of Matt Hughes 'HIT Squad'. What do you know about Foster, and will you alter your usual game plan?"
PD: "He’s a tough striker with an all round game and heavy hands. I will train very hard at all areas of my game and I’m intent on making an explosive UFC debut."
DW: "I feel with your dangerous and exciting stand-up style that there are several extremely entertaining match-ups for you in the welterweight division: Thiago Alves, Mike Swick, Martin Kampmann, Carlos Condit, Chris Lytle
, and now newcomer Phil Baroni
. Is there anyone on that list in particular that you would prefer to fight?"
PD: "I just want to fight and fight whoever the UFC puts in front of me. I feel I can get in there and beat any of the above names. I have no vendettas... yet!" (Paul says this with a hearty and devious laugh), "So I’ll just fight whoever."
DW: "In the UFC, there is a lot of pressure to win. They often say they reward exciting fights even in a loss, but regardless, if you lose two in a row, the need for a win becomes absolute. Are you planning on going out there and putting on an exciting fight (like you always do), or are you focusing more on the result now that you’re in the big show? Will you implement more caution into your strategy because of this?"
PD: "Freedom, and fight without thought! (Well, not too much.) I’m just gonna go out there, come forward and try to finish fights, win or lose I will always do this- this is my style. I finish fights!"
DW: "The UFC has forced training partners to fight before. As a fan, I highly disagree with it, but I can force myself to understand that point-of-view from a business perspective. As a fighter, what would your thoughts be if asked to face your friend and training partner Dan Hardy?"
PD: "I wouldn’t fight Dan as a choice based on my morals. We are on two completely different paths anyway, he’s three victories into the UFC, and I ain’t even started!"
DW: "You’ve listed GSP as one of your idols in the sport. How does it feel to be competing in the same division as him, looking to earn your way towards a shot at his belt?"
PD: "Feels great, but I’ve felt I’m always competing against him, because he’s the top of the sport, no matter what 170 lbs. division you are in, from a small show in the UK to the big UFC, if you want to beat or be the best in the division, he’s the bench mark."
DW: "In most of your losses, we’ve seen your opponent almost desperately attempting to avoid your stand-up and get you to the ground. Are you adjusting for this? If so, are you looking to improve your ground game should you be forced there, to improve your takedown defense to avoid the ground, or both?"
PD: "Improve both and continue to improve my striking so not to be in such an exposed position that makes the takedown more easy for my opponents. Takedown defense, footwork drills, getting back to my feet, strength and conditioning, submission defense and offense... EVERYTHING!"
Can you share any details about your UFC contract, such as the number of fights, and/or the pay versus some of the other org’s (Strikeforce, Affliction)?"
PD: "I have a four fight deal with the UFC, it's a pretty standard UFC contract."
DW: "Can you describe how this deal came about after Affliction crashed? Were you approached by the UFC, or did your management seek them out?"
PD: "The UFC took a few of us from Affliction, and I was pleased they saw the talent and potential in me to feel I was a worthwhile investment for the UFC welterweight division."
DW: "The nickname 'Semtex' is an obvious reference to your crushing KO power. To what do you attribute your power and proficiency with your striking? Is it something you were born with, or is it just hardnosed training specifically in that area?"
PD: "I think it’s something I was born with. At 15 years old I was knocking guys out twice my age, but obviously my training in martial arts has helped harness this power."
I read that you began martial arts training at age 7. Can you discuss what martial art you started out with, and how that training evolved into the intense program you follow now?"
PD: "I started in Karate as something to curb my hyperactive behavior. I then went across to do some traditional Jiu-Jitsu before finding Muay Thai and MMA."
Who did you look up to back in those days or find inspirational (both fighters and non-fighters)?"
PD: "I have to say it, Tito Ortiz was an early inspiration in the Sport of MMA, away from that I’d have to say my coach Rupurt Smillie, Hip Hop Entrepenurs for Business, Hip Hop music and marketing is something a enjoying doing/listen to too."
DW: "You now train at the legendary 'Rough House' gym in Nottingham with Dan Hardy and Andre Winner, but I noticed in an old video interview that you were training at the Legends gym in the states. What other places have you spent time training, and how do those places differ (both good and bad) from Rough House?"
PD: "I’ve trained at American Top Team HQ in Coconut Creek, Legends MMA (called 'Bomb Squad' back in the day) with Eddie Bravo and Chris Reilly, The Armory Gym, these guys helped me out for fight prep with Jake Shields. I currently train with Mike’s Gym in Holland and Team Rough House in the UK."
DW: "Who do you train with regularly at your gym?"
PD: "Predominately Dean Amasinger. But also with Andre Winner, Lee Livingston and Jimmy Wallhead. When Dan Hardy’s back in the UK we also get some sessions in together. Plus a lot of other less recognized up and comers from our team."
DW: "Have you ever traveled somewhere specifically to train with a certain person, perhaps to prepare for a certain fighter or style?"
PD: "Not really other than Melvin Manhoef at Mike’s gym, but it is something I am more likely to do now I am with the UFC, and have more time between fights and better resources."
DW: "A while back, you shocked the MMA world by announcing your retirement. Although it obviously didn’t last, you only stated 'personal reasons' for the retirement- can you expand any more on these personal reasons, and why you decided to come back?"
PD: "Everyone goes through ups and downs in life, that was a down. I came back because I love fighting, I love the sport of MMA."
DW: "You’ve stated in past interviews that you’re very close with your family. How did they feel when you first started to compete in such a brutal sport, and how do they feel about it now that you’ve been so successful?"
PD: "They had always thought of me as a bit of a dreamer, people still do! Because I have such a different outlook on life and huge goals, people, including my family, now see me achieving what I’ve said I always would. They have become very supportive."
DW: "My most sincere appreciation to yourself and your manager, Wad Alameddine, for your time in this interview, and best of luck with your UFC debut."