Michael Farrow's sports blog

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…on Paul Daley

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Paul Daley - He needs to up his game

I know I shouldn’t feel this way about one of our best fighters but I have come around to thinking Paul Daley is an embarassment.  He defeated John Alessio with a second round TKO last Friday but the nature of the win was just so depressing. Calling him an embarassment is harsh, sure, but it is hard to watch and support a fighter who is just so limited.  He has world-class striking, both power and technique, and he’s pissing it away by not effectively developing other sides of his game.   Of the six tools of an MMA fighter, he only has one.  I not sure if it is possible to do so anymore but even if he took a very Maurice Smith-esque approach and just learned what it would take to get back to his feet, that would be a massive step forward because right now any decent grappler can get him down and keep him down. The writing was on the wall two years ago when he lost to Luiz Azeredo; he’s got world class power but that’s no good when you’re on your back being held down.

John Alessio is a decent gatekeeper and beating him via TKO is certainly more impressive than what Thiago Alves or Diego Sanchez did.  However, Alessio has nothing on the ground. He’s a wrestler who sprawls and brawls and even he managed to hold Daley down.  Paul Daley is probably the best fighter we have.  He has massive potential but by not improving his MMA game, he’s stifling that potential.  Worst still for MMA in the UK, he’s held up there as a standard bearer for this country and he embodies everything wrong with our MMA.  His wrestling and grappling aren’t good enough. We’ve got some decent grapplers in this country, there’s no excuse not to be training with the right people. That’s another problem, we’re apologists for our guys when they clearly aren’t doing the right things. Plus, we struggle against wrestlers because it’s not our thing. Struggling against grapplers is bone fucking idle laziness.

Wrestling is going to take some time to come up to the American level because we don’t have scholastic/collegiate werstling and catch wrestling and submission wrestling have been in decline for years. Jiu-jitsu and judo do not stack up against folkstyle and greco-roman wrestling when it comes to takedowns, otherwise you wouldn’t see so many great Brazilians pull guard. It’s also what made Travis Lutter a dangerous prospect; he not only has an excellent top game but he can also put you on your back at will. However, there are amateur wrestling clubs in this country and, if you’re at a decent level, go abroad. If you want to be the very best, you must sacrifice. If James McSweeney can afford to see Greg Jackson, then surely you can too Paul Daley.

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Written by Michael Farrow

December 8, 2008 at 11:04 pm

Posted in MMA

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