On October 4th, Cage Rage Welterweight Champion Paul “Semtex” Daley will look to add another welterweight title to his collection when he faces Jake Shields for the EliteXC title in the semi main event of the third installment of Saturday Night Fights on CBS.
The flamboyant Brit is riding a six fight win streak going into the bout that will air live on CBS and will look to make it seven in a row as well as make his case for a spot in the world top ten rankings with a win over Shields.
“Semtex” took the time out of his training schedule to answer questions from MMANews.com’s own Chris Howie about the fight with Shields, training with some of the best K-1 fighters out of Holland, and what he needs to do to become first fighter out of the United Kingdom to win a major title in North American Mixed Martial Arts.
Chris Howie of MMANews.com: How has your training gone in prepartion for this fight with Jake Shields?
Paul Daley: It's going really well, thanks. It's very intense, I'm here at Mike's Gym in Amsterdam, with Melvin (Manhoef) and the Dream 6 fight camp, So (it’s like) I’m really training to fight a Grand Prix, So i'm in great shape.
MMANews.com: What advantages and disadvantages do you feel you have going into the fight?
Paul Daley: I hit hard, and it only takes me one punch, kick, knee, or elbow to end a fight I’m strong and in great condition, my takedown defense is good, and my ground defense is stronger. Jake is a good wrestler and has good submissions.
MMANews.com: What aspects of your game did you work on going into this fight?
Paul Daley: Of course my takedown defense, my conditioning and my submissions and take down defense. We've had some judo guys, wrestlers and have had Antonio Carvalho through out the camp.
MMANews.com: Jake is known as a great ground fighter and submission expert, you on the other hand are known for your explosive striking and KO power. What do you feel will make the different in this fight?
Paul Daley: My mental state is real good now, I believe in myself, my team and training. To me the fight is already won.
MMANews.com: Who has helped you prepare for this fight?
Paul Daley: Mike at Mike's gym in Amsterdam, with Melvin Manhoef, Antonio Carvalho, Jason Jones and the guys. I'm going to the Armory Gym in Florida to do my final light preparation and to make weight.
MMANews.com: Being a champion in England, what would it mean for you to become a champion in the USA?
Paul Daley It’s not so much about being the champion, I just want to beat Jake Shields and be recognized as one the best welterweights in the world.
MMANews.com:Do you feel you are the underdog going into this fight?
Paul Daley: Yes, but I like it that way.
MMANews.com: Do you feel Shields will be under pressure going into this one considering it will be his first title defense?
Paul Daley:I don’t care what Jake feels! It means nothing to me.
MMANews.com: You've had some issues with ProElite in the past, more specifically Cage Rage. What was going on behind the scenes with that company that caused problems for you?
Paul Daley: Nothing, all is good. Pro Elite have been great to me.
MMANews.com: You've been given a shot at the welterweight championship during a Primetime event on EliteXC. Did your opinion of Proelite change when they gave you a shot at the title?
Paul Daley: Nah, my opinion has always been the same of Pro Elite, they are good people, they had offered me the fight before, so I am grateful the chance came again.
MMANews.com: Although a lot of fans in North America may not have heard the name Paul Daley, you have been fighting for the last 5 years with the majority of your fights coming in the United Kingdom. How old were you when you got into the fight game and what made you become a fighter?
Paul Daley: I fought my first amateur MMA bout when i was 18. Since I seven years old I have been involved with the Martial Arts. It's my passion, I love competing, I love being a Martial Artist, and for me, I am living the dream. From watching the old Ninja movies, to being that real traveling warrior, that’s me.
MMANews.com:Who are some fighters that you have looked up to on your way to becoming a champion?
Paul Daley: Of course Melvin Manhoef. He is also a good friend, so away from him, I like Anderson Silva, Minotauro and others.
MMANews.com:Who are some of your favorite fighters to watch?
Paul Daley: Anderson Silva, Melvin Manhoef, GSP and Jon Fitch.
MMANews.com: Beyond Jake Shields, who are some other welterweight fighters in the world that you have your eye on?
Paul Daley: I want to be the best, the top ten.
MMANews.com: Right now you are riding a six fight win streak, what do you feel you need to do against Shields to make it seven and win the title?
Paul Daley: Keep the pressure on him, stop the takedowns, make him scared of me…as well he fucking should be, and knock him out!
MMANews.com: Of your eighteen victories the majority have come by way of T(KO), were you a natural striker or was it something that a lot of time and practice has gone into?
Paul Daley: I think I’m a natural striker, but I am not complete. I want to be the best at every aspect of the sport. But for the fans, the KO is best!
MMANews.com: You've trained in Holland before which is home to many great K-1 Champions and experts. Who have you trained with in the country and how have they helped you better develop your game?
Paul Daley: Well Mike's Gym is home to many great fighters and in some way they have all helped me. From just watching how they train, to sparring with them, and being taught new skills. Badr Hari, Joeri Mes, Melvin Manhoef, Bjorn Bregy, Belani Rashed and more.
MMANews.com: Do you have any sponsors you would like to mention or anyone you would like to thank?
Paul Daley: Hijakbaselayer.com and Lemarr.com. (There are a number of other sponsors that I maybe involved with but the papers ain’t signed yet, so it's there bad. Sorry 15-9-08)
MMANews.com: Any messages to your fans out there?
Paul Daley: Make sure you tune in on Oct 4th to EliteXC on CBS and watch the crowning of a new Champion and the first fighter from the U.K to do so.
MMANews.com: And finally Paul, how do you see your October 4th fight with Shields ending?
Paul Daley: I'm going to KO him, I’m real confident, I hope the fight is entertaining for the fans also though.