MMA Odds and Ends for Tuesday: Bellator Signs Daley and Manhoef

Paul-Daley Bellator MMA announced yesterday they have come to terms with free-agent fighters Paul Daley and Melvin Manhoef, and the two veterans are expected to make their promotional debuts later this year. Ever since Scott Coker took over as the head honcho for Bellator last month, there have been rumors that a number of former Strikeforce fighters who Coker admired would be signed to Bellator, and Daley and Manhoef are likely just two of the first that Coker will bring in. Although Daley is a trouble maker who was kicked out of the UFC for punching Josh Koscheck after the final bell at UFC 113, he is still a very solid welterweight fighter with knockout power in both hands and an extremely-exciting style. He actually inked a deal with Bellator in 2012 and fought once for the promotion, defeating Rudy “Bad News” Bears via TKO in his only appearance for Bellator MMA, but after some legal issues in his home country of England the promotion released him. He has been bouncing around the minors since then, but after a string of brutal knockouts on the regional circuit Coker has decided to take another chance at him, although according to Daley will first have to get his visa issues cleared up before he can fight in the U.S. again. But if he does get all his legal issues sorted out, then Bellator will have did well to pick up a very good fighter who the fans can get behind, and under Bellator’s new matchmaking format, it likely won’t be long before Daley gets a crack at Bellator welterweight champion Douglas Lima. As for Manhoef, like Daley he is an exciting slugger who the fans can get behind, but unlike Daley he has no legal issues to speak of. Although he doesn’t have much of a ground game, Manhoef is still one of the best strikers in mixed martial arts and Bellator has made a good signing him by getting him and keeping him away from the UFC, where he wanted to go for some time. Although he is not the most complete fighter, the UFC likely missed a good opportunity to add Manhoef to their middleweight division as the slugger made it clear he wanted to sign there in the past, but Bellator made a good decision to sign him and throw him in with their group of 185ers. As for who Manhoef and Daley will fight in their Bellator debuts, that remains to be seen, but under the new matchmaking format Bellator will use from now on you better believe Coker and new matchmaker Rich Chou will find the right matchup for both men, and ultimately the fans are going to be the ones who benefit as a result.

Written by Adam Martin.

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