Bellator MMA has decided to sever ties with embattled fighters Paul Daley and Maiquel Falcão due to ongoing legal issues. The promotion has also agreed to nix their matching rights, meaning both fighters can land with the promotion of their choosing. Bellator MMA officials confirmed the releases to MMAFrenzy on Thursday.
While Daley originally indicated that his assault case was thrown out, it turns out that was not entirely accurate. The volatile welterweight was actually convicted of a lesser assault charge, in addition to obstruction of an officer. While Bellator remained optimistic that Daley would be able to return from exile and fulfill his contract, the two convictions would still prevent the welterweight from obtaining a visa in the United States and Canada.
While the English fighter was one of Bellator MMA’s most heralded free agent signings at the time, Daley only competed once for the promotion – defeating Rudy Bears at Bellator 72 – before legal issues prevented him from fulfilling the promise he showed in his lone bout. Daley last competed this past weekend at CWFC 57, where he defeated Polish fighter Lukasz Chlewicki.
Season 6 middleweight champ Maiquel Falcão was released following the emergence of a disturbing video that saw him slap a woman in Brazil before being jumped by a group in retaliation. The brawl left teammate Kaue Mena in a coma following the incident. While Brazilian authorities are still investigating the matter, Falcão’s violent history saw him released from not only the promotion, but his fight team as well. The Brazilian fighter was released by the UFC after a similar incident came to the promotion’s attention in 2010.
Falcão had not been in action since his hard-fought loss to Bellator middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko this past February at Bellator 88. While the end to the fighter’s stint comes rather dubiously, Falcão tallied a respectable 3-1 record with the promotion.
While both fighters are technically free to sign where they want, the reality of their situations is that they will likely be limited to fighting in their respective local markets until the resolution of their legal issues.