Paul Daley chuckles over unlikely fight clincher

by John Morgan and Dann Stupp | source:

So Saturday, after Masvidal used a takedown-heavy second round to tie the fight and another to stall in the third, Daley used an unexpected weapon to secure the eventual unanimous-decision win: a takedown of his own.

"Yeah, it was little bit (ironic)," Daley told ( after the fight. "But I have some takedowns. I have good coaches. Kenny Johnson, he works with a bunch of high-level guys. I have a few.

"I know people don't expect me to take them down, so I thought it was a real close fight. I thought I'd close the distance and try something. It worked out, so that's cool."

After escaping one of Masvidal's takedown attempts in the third round, Daley scored his own and then closed out the round with a barrage of punches. Daley knew how vital that final frame would be with the judges.

"I thought I got the first, and he got the second, and my corner thought the same thing," he said. "They sat me down, and they said, 'Look, you've got to go in this round. It's 1-1. You've got to push the pace.' I think that's what I did, and I think that's why I won the fight."

Daley, though, wasn't about to condemn another opponent for using some wrestling. After all, most of the first round was spent upright, and Masvidal – a Bellator and Strikeforce vet who's also boxed professionally – took everything that Daley could throw at him.

The British fighter admittedly was impressed by the American Top Team staple.

"He's a tough guy," said Daley, who surrendered 10 percent of his "show" money to Masvidal after missing weight by less than a pound. "Me and my team knew he was a tough guy. He's got a lot of experience and comes from a great team. I just want to thank him for stepping up and taking the fight and making it a fight.

"Maybe I entered the fight thinking no [155-pounder] was going to be able to take my punches, but he took them. He put on a good fight. He had a great gameplan, and he made me work for the win. It was a close fight."

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