The cancellation of the Paul "Semtex" Daley vs. Derek Anderson bout turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as it set up an even bigger, badder scrap between the former and "Irish" Brennan Ward.
The fight between Daley and Anderson was supposed to go down earlier this month at Bellator 163, but the British sensation had trouble making weight and medical staffers decided it would be best for him to hold off on competing. Fortunately, it was just a minor setback, with the former UFC brawler immediately getting re-booked. The only thing is that he now has a new opponent.
Daley (38-14-2) is slated to collide with Ward on Jan. 21, 2017, at The Forum in Los Angeles, Calif., on a hotly-anticipated card headlined by two legendary figures -- Tito "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" Ortiz and Chael "The American Gangster" Sonnen. With Ortiz colliding with Sonnen in the headliner and Ralek Gracie set to fight Hisaki Kato in the co-main, Ward (14-4) will likely battle Daley in the swing fight of the main card, which will be televised live on Spike TV.
Make no mistake: It's a massive platform for both of the fast-rising welterweight talents. Ward and Daley are two of the most dynamic, exciting young superstars on Bellator's roster, and Bellator 170 is the perfect opportunity to showcase them to the world. Ward, a Connecticut native, is coming off a highlight-reel knockout win over Saad Awad, while the 33-year-old Daley won five of his last six.
The thing is, Ortiz and Sonnen will undoubtedly reel in a huge number of casual fans for Bellator 170, mainstream sports fans who don't necessarily tune in to every UFC pay-per-view. For Bellator, the hope is that at least some of those fans will watch Daley's fight with Ward, and get hooked on Bellator programming.