MacDonald will be making his debut under the Bellator banner on Friday evening, and he heads into the fight with plenty of fanfare behind him. Daley, however, says he’s more than prepared for what the Canadian will bring to the table. Speaking exclusively to Champions.co earlier this week, he described how he’d trained for the fight.
“Rory is a tall guy and he’s a well-rounded guy, so I’ve prepared for everything,” Daley said. “All the training for my ground game has been done with a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, so it’s not as if I’ve had to bring in any ground wizards or anything like that. My coach is a very enthusiastic jiu-jitsu guy, so he will have studied Rory and will know everything about his ground game and his strong points. Even with the striking, we’ve seen things that will hopefully work out against Rory—there are openings and opportunities we will be looking to open up. We’ve done all the work and I know I’m feeling at my best heading into this.”
With no fewer than 55 professional fights already under his belt, Daley feels he’s been there and done it all. Suffice to say, being the main event on Friday isn’t something that phases him.
“I’ve been fighting for so long—15 or 16 years and I’ve fought everybody and every type of guy,” Daley said. “Nothing fazes me—especially not Rory. All due respect, he’s a well-rounded guy and he’s highly rated, but for me, it’s just another fight and I’m preparing for this no differently than I have done anyone else. I’m quietly confident and I will just go out there and perform like I know I can.”
While much of the focus might be on MacDonald making his debut, Daley says by the end of the fight, all the headlines will be about him. The former Strikeforce man feels MacDonald will be in for a very rude awakening come fight night.
“I’m expecting the best Rory MacDonald—no matter the injuries or the fights he’s been in, I’m expecting the best,” Daley said. “I’m sure he’s going to be well prepared and I’m sure he thinks he knows what he’s in for. Personally, I don’t think he is. I’m looking forward to fighting him and seeing his eyes when he realizes who he’s in there with. He’s not prepared—he think’s he knows, but he’s going to realize very, very soon. I’m going to beat him on points or knock him out—however it comes it doesn’t matter, but trust me it’s happening. He’s in for a shock.”
While falling short of making a prediction, Daley did say that he will beat MacDonald whichever way he wants on fight night.
“I can beat him however I want,” Daley said. “I’m not going to go out there and say I’m going to submit him—that’s just not in my mindset. The knockout is there, points are there, or I could just finish him by ground and pound. What I’m going to say is, I don’t need to rush out there and take his head off—I feel I can beat him in an actual fight and outpoint him.”
Last time Daley fought in London, he was defeated by the now Bellator welterweight champion, Douglas Lima. While Daley is focused on his task at hand this Friday, he knows well aware that a victory will get him another crack at Lima.
“I’d like to get back in there with Douglas Lima,” Daley said. “I think I’ve got the beating of that guy, but when we last fought, he caught me very early and I was always just trying to get back in the fight from that moment. I know I can’t focus on that just yet because I got this job to do on May 19. I’ll get past Rory first and then go after him. I’m confident this is how it’s going to shake out.”