Former UFC title contender Paul Daley has confirmed that he is not interested in a proposed November bout with Melvin Manhoef due to personal reasons. Scott Coker announced his intentions to book the bout if both fighters come out of their scheduled fights next month without injury, though Daley has confirmed that he would not consider fighting Manhoef.
A former training partner of Manhoef’s, Daley stated how the Dutchman was like a mentor to him, and has learned a number of techniques from the striking specialist.
Paul Daley is scheduled to fight Igor Fernandes in the BAMMA 16 headliner on September 12 before making his Bellator debut later this year, while Melvin Manhoef faces Doug Marshall in his Bellator debut on September 19 in the Bellator 125 main feature. While Manhoef’s BMMA debut will be in the middleweight division, the Dutch kickboxer has announced his intentions to drop down to welterweight following the fight.
Both heavy hitters recently agreed to terms with the promotion earlier this month, following the arrival of new chairman Scott Coker, and a fight between the two seemed like an obvious choice for the promotion. With Manhoef being a friend and training partner of Daley’s, the pairing is unlikely to come to fruition for the time being.
Appearing on The MMA Hour (h/t MMAFighting), Bellator chairman Scott Coker had this to say on the potential match-up:
“Paul, pending his September 12th fight in London, if he’s okay, we’re going to be fighting him in November here in America. I can tell you the fight I’d like to put together. We had a conversation with Melvin Manhoef about dropping down in weight, so I’d like to put Manhoef vs. Daley together.
So if [Manhoef] doesn’t get hurt, Paul doesn’t get hurt, we’ll put that fight together.”
Responding to the comments of Coker, Daley was positive that the Bellator chairman was discussing his potential debut, though the option of fighting Manhoef looks unavailable for the Brit. ‘Semtex’ took to Facebook to share the following status:
Bellator president Scott Coker, calling for Manhoef vs Daley….? ? ?…
As great as it would be one paper, this is a fight that will not be happening…for personal reasons, plus the more obvious reason of him being a former training partner, mentor, and someone I owe some of my training practises and methods too….
Happy that Bellator are looking to schedule me to fight in November, but I would not even consider this fight….. [sic]