Paul Daley lands with Bellator

Updated: June 15, 2012, 4:12 PM ET
By Brett Okamoto | ESPN.com

British welterweight Paul Daley has landed with Bellator Fighting Championships.

Daley, who requested and received a release from Strikeforce last week, will make his promotional debut at Bellator 72 on July 20.

Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney confirmed the news Friday.

Daley
Daley

"I've been a 'Semtex' fan for years," Rebney said in a statement. "He's an incredibly explosive fighter who is magic to watch inside the cage.

"Paul's one of those fighters I've always intentionally stayed home to watch, and now I can watch him cageside at Bellator."

Daley (29-12-2) is coming off a split-decision loss to Kazuo Misaki in March. The 29-year-old striker vied for the Strikeforce welterweight title in April 2011, but lost to then-champion Nick Diaz via first-round TKO.

Daley holds notable wins over UFC veterans Duane Ludwig and Martin Kampmann. In May 2010, Daley lost a lopsided unanimous decision to Josh Koscheck at UFC 113. After the bell, Daley illegally struck Koscheck, resulting in UFC president Dana White cutting him and stating he'd never fight for the promotion again.

After complaining he wasn't getting enough fights at Strikeforce, Daley said he was eager to join Bellator's tournament format.

"The tournament format is something that really stood out to me," Daley said. "There isn't anyone sitting at the top of the mountaintop making decisions on who fights who. The fighters get to decide who is going to be the next champion, and that's how it should be."