MMA veteran Paul Daley claims he was offered a boxing match against former UFC fighter and commentator Dan Hardy but rejected it.
Daley will have his farewell MMA fight this weekend at Bellator 281 against Wendell Giacomo. He’s opted to call it a career after a long run that featured stints in Strikeforce, UFC, and now with Bellator.
Hardy will make his own combat sports return this summer against Diego Sanchez in the boxing ring. He hasn’t competed in MMA since his win over Amir Sadollah at a 2012 UFC event.
Before Sanchez was offered the bout with Hardy, Daley says he was offered the opportunity to box his British colleague.
“I had an offer to fight Dan, and I’m not even sure if Dan knows, but I have email proof and text proof that I was offered a very lucrative opportunity to fight a former teammate,” Daley said during his Bellator 281 pre-fight press conference. “But I wouldn’t do that because although me and Dan aren’t as close as we were, at this stage when we started out in the sport, we kind of grew together to a certain stage and it’s like even though you grow apart, you still have that bond.” (h/t BJ Penn)
Daley didn’t reveal the exact amount of money he was offered to fight Hardy.
Hardy had also initially been linked to a boxing match against former UFC champion Tyron Woodley, but negotiations didn’t materialize. It’s unclear if he plans on boxing past this upcoming fight with Sanchez.
As for Daley, he’ll look to put a stamp on his MMA career this weekend with one more potentially electric performance at Bellator London.
Would you have wanted to see Paul Daley box Dan Hardy?