Despite hinting at retirement ahead of his most recent fights, Paul Daley's fighting career will continue for the foreseeable future. Daley signed a new contract with Bellator MMA and is set to face Jason Jackson in one of Bellator 260's featured fights on June 11.
Daley (43-17-2) is riding a three-fight winning streak, most recently defeating Sabah Homasi at Bellator 257 in April. The fight with Jackson will take place at a 175-pound catchweight, making it three straight fights for Daley at 175 pounds. Daley has expressed an interest in continuing to fight at 175 pounds, including at the post-fight press conference for his win over Homasi.
"Money can change that real quick," Daley said after Bellator 257. "You pay me more, then I'll make the weight. Pay me more, I'll fight at 170 pounds. I'll have a better camp. I'll have better people involved."
Bellator president Scott Coker seemed put off by the idea of both a fighter needing to be paid to make weight in an official division and by Daley's desire to continue fighting at 175, though they clearly worked out their differences to sign the new deal.
"It's always awkward when the fighter on the podium trying to negotiate his next purse with you when you're sitting there watching him," Coker said at the press conference for Bellator 257. "I'm sitting there going in my head, 'Are you going to make weight when we pay you more money?' I think we pay you pretty well already. You should come and make the weight.
"Listen, Paul can do what he wants to do. If he wants to make a title run, we're going to open up some doors for him and try to get him to that point. If he wants to have some fights at 175, it's up to him. Personally, I wish he'd go to 170 and really give it another shot because this guy has power in both hands. He's fought everybody. He's never ducked anybody."
Jackson (14-4) is No. 4 in the Bellator MMA Fighter Rankings at welterweight and has won his two most recent fights, scoring big victories over Benson Henderson and Neiman Gracie.