UFC vet Marcus Davis said Paul Daley's revelation that he turned down a proposed fight is an attempt to bully him into a booking for which he'd be underpaid.
Davis today told MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps
) that the Ireland-based Cage Contender promotion offered him $8,000 to fight Daley on just over one month's notice.
When he refused, stating Daley's A-level ability justified a higher purse and that he wouldn't accept the fight on short notice, he said the promotion "probably got into Daley's head" to publicly shame him.
"I thought I graduated high school over 21 years ago," Davis said. "I'm not going to get roped into fighting a fight."
On his official Facebook page, Daley today revealed his fight at the Cage Contender event, which takes place Feb. 23 in Dublin. He also revealed that Davis had turned down an opportunity to meet him.
Davis said negotiations never passed beyond the promotion's initial offer, yet he later received a message that Daley's camp had accepted the fight and was waiting for permission from Bellator, whom he was scheduled to fight for later this month before visa issues scratched his participation.
Davis informed Cage Contender promoter John Ferguson that another possible booking would pay him six times that amount in his home state and had a contract offer from another promotion that began in June.
Ferguson agreed that negotiations never passed the initial offer, and that Daley outed Davis of his own accord.
"It wasn't enough money for Marcus, which we understand," he told MMAjunkie.com. "Getting more money elsewhere, of course he's going to take it. We decided to do the right thing throughout, and that's why we stayed out of any conversations in the media."
Davis, however, said the problem didn't cease with the first offer. He said he chastised Ferguson when he received a call from ex-UFC fighter Frank Trigg, who informed him that the promoter had offered him $5,000 to fight Daley and said he'd agreed to the figure before pulling out of the booking.
"I had offered the fight to Frank by email also and had told him we were also talking to Marcus amongst others," Ferguson responded via email. "There was never any mention of a fee for Marcus or any other fighter. "All conversations with all parties were in writing (Facebook with Marcus and email with Trigg and his agent) and never verbally, thus meaning I have evidence of all communication."
Then, Daley put his name in the press.
Daley could not be reached via phone or email at the time of this writing, and Trigg said he was declining comment on the fight.
Until late this past year, Davis' MMA career was at a halt. The former pro boxer, 14-time UFC vet and competitor on "The Ultimate Fighter 2" grappled with serious back injuries that put his career on hold.
After receiving a 2012 offer to fight UFC vet David Bielkheden on short notice, Davis began training again, and plans to fight as long as his health holds up. But today, he stressed that he isn't going to compete at any price.
"This very specific thing like this is why I left boxing," he said. "I said to myself, 'I've got to get into MMA before all the scumbags get over there."