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Slice, Daley booted from UFC payroll

Kimbo Slice and Paul Daley entered their respective bouts on Saturday night as featured fighters on an Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-view card.

Each left the arena without a job.

Slice and Daley will be looking for employment elsewhere, though Slice is leaving the organization on more amicable terms after UFC 113 in Montreal.

Slice was beaten up by Matt Mitrione, prompting UFC president Dana White to basically concede the experiment is over for the former Internet sensation who was trying mixed martial arts at the highest level.

White was one of Slice’s biggest critics when he began fighting professionally, but offered him a chance to get into the UFC by appearing on the organization’s reality show.

Slice lost in the first round of that tournament, then went 1-1 in the UFC, including the loss on Saturday night. White was complimentary of Slice’s efforts, but said it is unlikely he will be offered another fight in the UFC.

“He came in, and he couldn’t be a nicer guy,” White said at the postfight news conference. “He took this serious. He trained, went after it.”

White was not so diplomatic in cutting ties with Daley, who punched Josh Koscheck well after the final bell following Koscheck’s unanimous decision victory in a No. 1 contender match in the welterweight division.

“He’s done. I don’t give a (expletive) if he (becomes) the best 170-pounder in the world. He’ll never come back here again,” White said of Daley. “He will never fight in the UFC ever again. Done.”

White went on to say that type of behavior will not be tolerated in his organization.

“There’s no excuse for that. These guys are professional athletes. You don’t ever hit a guy blatantly after the bell like that, whether you’re frustrated or not,” he said. “It was probably one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen.”

The hasty banishment came on the heels of UFC fighter Nate Diaz not facing discipline from the organization for his role in a recent Strikeforce brawl on CBS. The UFC is also trying to sign Jake Shields, who was partly responsible for starting that brawl.

Gilbert Yvel, scheduled to fight Ben Rothwell in June, once floored a referee with a punch in a fight several years before signing with the UFC.

Slice is still quite marketable and should have plenty of suitors.

Daley will have no problem finding a contract in another organization either, but he might be punished by the athletic commission in Quebec and will have to wait on that decision before fighting anywhere else.

Daley was in full damage control mode Sunday, issuing a lengthy statement to The Telegraph in his native England, apologizing to the UFC, the fans, sponsors, the athletic commission and especially Koscheck.

■ OVEREEM RETURNS — Alistair Overeem is not the best-known heavyweight in Strikeforce, but he is still the league’s heavyweight champion despite not defending the belt since winning it in 2007.

He will return to Strikeforce to defend the title against Brett Rogers on Saturday after missing time with a hand injury and competing internationally in other organizations in his past seven fights.

“I’m looking forward to defending my title. I think if it was up to me, it would have happened last year,” he said on a conference call. “But I had my hand injury, which took a lot of time to recover. You’ll see me May 15 and maybe one or two more times this year.”

Overeem said he hopes to next fight Fedor Emelianenko, who will meet Fabricio Werdum on a June 26 card in San Jose, Calif.

The Saturday night card in St. Louis, which also includes a bout between Andrei Arlovski and Antonio Silva, will air on Showtime.

Contact reporter Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-224-5509.

 

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