With Bellator in the middle of their latest European tour, Derek Anderson was looking forward to finally stepping into the cage with Paul “Semtex” Daley. The two were originally scheduled to meet each other at Bellator 163 way back in 2016, but the bout was scrapped last minute due to a botched weight cut by Daley. Unfortunately for Anderson, this fight just wasn’t meant to be. Daley was pulled from this card due to another bad weight cut, eerily mirroring their first match-up. With Bellator unable to secure a new opponent on such short notice, the fight had to be scrapped entirely. I managed to catch up with Derek on the day of the fight, to get his take on things.
So, with this being the second time you were supposed to fight Paul, and him dropping out right before the fight on both occasions, for strangely similar reasons both times, do you think there’s any fear in Daley’s head given he has pulled out twice now, or do you not buy into that?
“I didn’t think he was necessarily scared the 1st time, but this time I definitely believe he was worried. I was at weigh-ins acting like it was Christmas, and he was drained from cutting. He could probably tell I was very confident and excited. Although I’m sure he really was drained from the cut, he is supposed to be a professional fighter and we agreed upon the weight he did reach, and he still wouldn’t face me.”
What was your gameplan coming into this fight? Were you looking to utilize your excellent grappling and get him to the ground, or were you looking to stand and bang with him?
“My gameplan was just like it always is… f**k up the dude in front of me. I’m a very good, well-rounded fighter, and Daley didn’t change anything inside of me.”
Has Bellator made any mention of what they might have in store for you now that you’ve kind of been screwed out of this main event?
“They are setting me up with a new fight in probably early November, and they did pay me for this one.”
With this fight not working out, maybe a rebooking of the MVP fight would be on the table. Is that something that you would be interested in?
“I would love to fight MVP more than anyone else, except a champion.”
With your fight against Daley falling through, and nothing on the horizon, is there anybody that you want to take the opportunity to call out?
“As I said, champion, MVP or anyone worth a main event, I know what I’m worth and so does Bellator.”
With 3 stoppage wins in under 1 minute (2 via sub, 1 via strikes), a great record (16-3-0), and you just hitting your fighting prime, do you see a UFC run in the near future?
“I enjoy being a part of the Bellator roster and want to get a belt here, but I’m not scared of anyone in either organization and would love to make a name for myself as to what I know I’m worth, and that is a lot more than, say, Conor McGregor. I just don’t have that type of mouth, I have strong values and respect, and I fight with that same heart.”
Do you have any idea what actually happened to Daley? Was it a bad weight cut as we have been told, or something else?
“It is supposed to be a weight rehydration issue apparently in his words, but I feel like it is an issue of heart.”
With the whole COVID thing going on a lot of people have been forced to stay home and find other areas of entertainment, have you picked up any quarantine hobbies?
“I have no hobbies other than cage fighting.”
Will you be staying in Europe maybe hoping to hop into the next card, or are you heading back to the states?
“I am headed back to the states soon after the event, Bellator buys my plane tickets, and they don’t have any plans for me here at the moment.”
After hearing that Daley announced that his next fight would be his retirement fight, I reached back out to find out what Derek thought of the whole situation.
“I’m not sure about his retirement fight announcement completely, but I feel pretty much done with Daley at this point but possibly will do it. Just wouldn’t want to waste my time. I feel I am past him but always want to make good career moves.“
I would like to take the time to thank Derek Anderson and Bellator for this interview.
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