‘No fighter has a career like me’

This report contains details about what happened at the Bellator 281. You can watch the full event again on BBC iPlayer (UK users only). Here.

Paul Daley thanked his fans for extending his playing career after knocking out Wendell Giacomo at Bellator 281 in London.

The bout was the 39-year-old’s 64th and last outing in a 19-year career.

In 2010, Daley of Nottingham was released from the UFC for punching opponent Josh Koscheck after the bell rang.

Despite his setbacks, he rebuilt his career through several other promotions.

“Without the fans, I wouldn’t be here,” Daley said.

“I got to the top of the pyramid and I’ve been down so far, but still no one has the career I’ve had. [the fans]. So thank you.”

“Their loyalty has always been undeniable.”

Daley won 44 of his 64 victories, building a reputation as a fighter handling explosive knockouts.

That signature power was shown at Wembley Arena on Friday when Daley endured a second round jiu-jitsu attack from Brazil’s Giacomo, unloading it with a big, swinging hook. One of them hooked up, causing Giacomo to hit the canvas.

Daley says the night was one of the best moments of his career.

“that [his proudest moment] It could be just tonight. It was very special,” Daley said.

“What many people don’t know is that I have a strong fan base in this field because I have been fighting in this field for 17 years. [the ovation] You deserve it.

“I think the finish was pretty good. The way he fell was one of the most dramatic finishes I’ve ever had.”

Despite having devoted most of his life to the martial arts, Daley says he will no longer be involved in sports after retirement.

“There’s nothing left here,” Daley said. “I just knocked this guy out and I’ve done it countless times before.”

“I’ve always said it’s the fault of many great athletes. They hang on to the sport for too long.

“Whether it’s a commentary or appearing at an event – it can give you the urge to go there again.

“I’ll just relax with Mai Tais on the beach. [cocktails] somewhere.”

It’s time for a day – MMA legend Daley

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