Paul Daley says he’s fit and ready to fight, but after a sequence of events led him to end up in a hospital waiting room, his main event fight with Derek Anderson at Bellator 247 on Thursday has been called off.
Daley missed weight at the official weigh-ins after tipping the scale at 172.6 pounds for his welterweight headliner, but while he acknowledged his weight miss, the Englishman explained how changed circumstances during his rehydration process ended up with him taking a trip to a local hospital.
Explaining his situation in an Instagram video, Daley said, “I weighed in at 172.6 pounds, so I was 1.6 pounds over. Sorry – I got that a little bit wrong there. Went down to the weigh-ins, felt OK, still feeling the effects, knew I was going to come in over. I let the Bellator staff know I was going to come in over. All was well, fight was still on.”
Then, after weighing in, Daley laid down in the backstage medical room as he began his gradual rehydration process. During that time, he explained he was asked to do an interview, take a COVID test, complete medicals and sign posters. After fulfilling those obligations, Daley explained, he started to feel discomfort.
“I went back to lie down in the medical room, because they have those beds,” he said. “(I) started to get some cramps. They’re not your ‘pull up on the football field’ cramps. (They were) severe cramps in my hip, and abdominal cramps, which I’m used to, and has happened before previously when cutting weight. But usually, all of this is all taking place upstairs in my bedroom with my team, out of the way, while I’m getting rehydrated and getting my body where it needed to be.
“Unfortunately, because of the restrictions, this had to take place downstairs in full view of other fighters, the Bellator staff, etc., so I understand why everyone was taken aback a bit by this. I wasn’t allowed to leave. So then I’m calling for assistance from the Bellator staff. I need to lower my body temperature, keep getting fluids on board, and if someone could massage my legs – as stupid as it sounds – that would be a big help.
“It took about 15, 20 minutes for people to take me seriously. Everyone kept giving me countdowns to get up to do the fake weigh-ins. I’m on the bed, not doing too good. I’m saying, ‘Look, I need some help.’ Give credit to one or two of the Bellator staff that could see the situation and came and helped. This escalated and led to me saying, ‘You know what, get me an ambulance. Cancel the fight, get me an ambulance. I’ll just have an IV – the IV being the key, because I know if you have an IV, the fight’s off, anyway.”
However, despite saying he was heading to hospital to get an IV to rehydrate, that’s not what panned out.
“Ambulance came, got wheeled off, got to the hospital and was there for an hour and a half, and I slept. Obviously, my case wasn’t a priority because there were elderly people coming in for whatever reason. … So I just slept in the waiting area, on the bed, for an hour and a half. When I woke up, I was there with my cornerman, I felt great, I hadn’t seen a doctor, no one even knew I was there. Jumped off the bed, jumped in an Uber and came back to the hotel. I just ate, feel fresh, feel 100 percent. Then I realize because I didn’t have the IV that there’s a possibility I can get this fight back on.”
Daley was subsequently told there was “no chance” the fight could be saved, and he was informed that he would not be fighting in the night’s headliner in Milan. The Brit said it was a shame that he had to go through the discomfort of the early stages of his rehydration process in front of everybody, as opposed to back in his hotel room with his team.
“This is not unusual for professional fighters,” he said. “It just normally takes place in a room with my team. It’s just unfortunate it took place downstairs and Bellator, CBS and Sky Sports – even though I’m fit, I’m healthy, I’m 100 percent, no hospital treatment, ready to go right now – don’t want to put the fight on, so I apologize.”