Paul Daley re-signs with Bellator

Updated: July 21, 2014, 5:06 PM ET
By Brett Okamoto | ESPN.com

Bellator MMA officials announced on Monday the promotion has re-signed British welterweight Paul Daley, who fought once in the Bellator cage in July 2012.

Daley (34-13-2) recorded a first-round TKO over Rudy Bears in that Bellator debut, but was released by the promotion one year later due to visa issues stemming from a legal matter in England. Daley pled guilty to one count of assault by beating.

In an appearance on The MMA Hour on Monday, Daley, 31, said he didn't expect the visa issues to prevent him from rejoining the U.S.-based promotion this year.

A knockout artist with 27 career finishes, Daley has previously fought in the UFC and Strikeforce. In May 2010, the UFC released Daley after he sucker punched Josh Koscheck after losing a decision to him at UFC 113 in Montreal.

The news reunites Daley with former Strikeforce CEO and current Bellator president Scott Coker. Daley fought a total of five times under the Strikeforce banner from 2007 to 2012, compiling a 2-3 record.

"I'm coming into Bellator to put on a show," Daley said. "I loved working for Coker back in Strikeforce and when I got the call to possibly come back to Bellator, it was a no-brainer. I feel great. I'm fresh and I'm going after that belt."

Bellator officials also announced the signing of professional kickboxer and mixed martial arts veteran Melvin Manhoef. Manhoef (28-11-1) has fought once in 2014, recording a 46-second TKO over Evangelista Santos in April.

"I've said it before and I'll say it again; we want Bellator to be a destination for not only the top-tier fighters in the sport but the first-choice destination for fans," Coker stated. "Both Paul and Melvin add a level of excitement to the roster that I can't wait to see inside our cage and this is just the beginning."

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