When the fight card for Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson was first announced, I had the opportunity to catch with up former UFC and current Strikeforce welterweight contender Paul Daley on my radio show in Washington, DC (MMA Nation on 106.7 The Fan). At the time, Daley was set to face Brazilian brawler Evangelista Santos, but that fight was eventually cancelled and Tyron Woodley was called up to replace Cyborg. Daley and Cyborg fight for what is expected to be the number one contendership for the vacant Strikeforce welterweight title, although nothing is official at this time.
Fortunately, though, I was able to talk to Daley about a number of topics, not least of which was his relationship with UFC President Dana White. We also talked about his predictions for Fedor vs. Henderson, whether Fedor should retire and much more. Here are a few samples:
On Fedor vs. Henderson:
"It's a tough one, I think most MMA fans would agree that it's a tough one. From a fan's perspective I've always been a big fan of Fedor because he was the guy who couldn't be beaten. In the early days when I jumped on this MMA stuff it was all about Fedor. He was the fighter you wanted to be like. Then again, Dan Henderson has always been there in the background and I'm a big fan of Dan Henderson as well. I've been at a few after parties with Dan Henderson and it's pretty surreal being a fan of his. Being at my after party, after the Dustin Hazlett fight and jumping off a bar and having Dan Henderson catch me, it's a bit of a dream like moment for me, being such a fan. I don't really want to call it because I don't want to be at the event and have Henderson say "you thought Fedor was going to beat me" and I really don't want the Russians coming up to me speaking Russian because I don't know what they're gonna be saying. So I'm gonna stay neutral and say it's gonna be a great fight. I think Fedor has something to prove and Hendo relishes big opportunities so I think it's gonna be a fantastic fight for the fans."
On if Fedor should retire:
"I don't think he should go out like that. I think you should go out with a win. I think people should always remember what you're capable of and people are overlooking what Fedor achieved and judging him on those three losses. You're allowed to look at history always but it won't be as big as it should be. Win or lose, if he loses I'd like to see him fight on and get a win. Because I think it will also motivate him. Once he gets that win then he'll want another fight and he'll build that momentum back. I wouldn't like to see Fedor retire on a loss. I think he should carry on if he loses and still fight on."
On the relationship with Dana White:
"I was at the fighters summit. Dana mentioned people he has problems with and named Josh Barnett. Basically he named everybody but me. He's got a big part to play in Strikeforce right now. I don't understand his big problem with me. It's definitely something personal because there's been opportunities for things to happen and they're not happening. I'm an exciting fighter. English people want to see me. I have a big fan base in the UK and a few fans in America. A lot of people do want to see me back in the UFC. I'm happy with Strikeforce and I'm happy with the fights that I've got for now. I think that in the future after getting past Cyborg, I don't see much in the way of big marquee fights I can have outside of the UFC. I've said in numerous interviews that I want to be back in the UFC so I'm not holding a grudge no more. I'm saying I want the UFC. This is from peer pressure from my fans saying "you deserve to be back in there. There's people who don't deserve to be back in there that get a lot of the lime light that have messed up." I have reached out. He's looked passed a lot, every other fighter he's had a personal beef with he's overlooked but for some reason he just don't like me. I don't know what it is. I'd like for him to explain it to me. I can't remember apart from the whole Koscheck incident, which I think with any other fighter would be overlooked and they'd be on a banner or something. I dunno, I think it's personal."
The audio of the entire video is available below: