Paul Daley criticized Rory MacDonald after scoring a vicious knockout in his last Bellator match, and now he will get the bout he was seeking.

Bellator officially announced Thursday that Daley, also known as “Semtex,” and MacDonald, who is nicknamed “Ares” and “Red King” will fight each other in the main event at Bellator 179, which is set for May 19 at London’s SSE Arena.

Daley (39-14-2) headlined Bellator’s previous event in London, when he lost by unanimous decision to current champion Douglas Lima. Six months following that defeat, the British welterweight– who will be 34 later this month– returned to action and beat Brennan Ward with a flying knee.

Canadian MacDonald (18-4), meanwhile, is set to make his Bellator debut after a 9-4 run under the UFC banner, which included victories over fighters like Nate Diaz, B.J. Penn, Demian Maia and current UFC champion Tyron Woodley. MacDonald left the UFC after consecutive losses to Robbie Lawler and Stephen Thompson. 

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The 27-year-old Canadian was not present at the press conference in Knightsbridge on Thursday when the headliner was announced. Instead, there was a British welterweight rival of Daley’s who has an ongoing spat with Daley.

The fighter, a rising, undefeated British sensation named Michael “Venom” Page and known to Bellator fans as “MVP,” voiced his “deep disappointment” on Thursday that he would not be fighting Daley.

Page has claimed several times that he has been “disrespected” by Daley, who has fought his way back to glory after being banned by UFC president Dana White seven years ago for sucker-punching his opponent Josh Koscheck following a frustrating night in Seattle.

The 30-year-old Page, who comes from a family of martial artists, primarily freestyle kickboxing, insisted Daley apologize after alleging the 33-year-old compared himself to Floyd Mayweather and Page to Adrien Broner: “I’m the undefeated one, he’s made this personal. I struggle to call people out because I just don’t care enough, but because of this episode, it means that when our names do cross again it’s going to be explosive.”


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