Bellator 281: Paul Daley retires after walk-off KO (Video)

Paul Daley has officially hung up the gloves at Bellator 281.

Paul Daley spent most of his retirement fight at Bellator 281 looking like a man ready to retire. Wendell Giacomo was smothering Daley all fight, holding him on the ground, and working some minor ground and pound to build up a point’s lead. Daley wasn’t in trouble of being put out, but you can see Giacomo control the fight with little effort.

Yet, as the second round of his last fight was coming to a close, Daley proved why he only had nine decisions and zero submission victories to his name; getting a step on Giacomo and unleashing a barrage of strikes to the body of Giacomo.

Giacomo was pinned against the cage and Daley just did what Daley did better than anyone else; introduced Giacomo to his knuckles. Giacomo fell to the mat and the referee waved off the fight before Daley could advance any further.

Paul Daley is one of the greatest to never win a major title

Daley was a champion in Cage Rage, but as the promotion is seen mostly as a feeder system, it’s not on the same level as a major promotion. Daley has fought for the UFC, Strikeforce, and Bellator and while he had his title shots and opportunities, Daley never capitalized on them. He lost a Strikeforce welterweight title fight to Nick Diaz. He lost a title eliminator to a then-debuting Rory MacDonald, who would go on to defeat Douglas Lima for the Bellator welterweight championship.

Then he lost to Michael “Venom” Page to open up the Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix, thus ending his last real shot to get a title opportunity.

Despite that, Daley won’t be defined by what he didn’t win but by what he did. He’s arguably the greatest knockout artist in the history of MMA. He’s had 64 career fights, 34 of them by KO/TKO. Not only has he been so prolific at knocking people out, but he’s done so while only losing twice by knockouts.

To go out in his final fight with a knockout is the most “Paul Daley-thing” you’ll ever see Daley do, and to know that he went out on top, really does put the perfect cap on Daley’s legendary career.

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