Paul Daley fails to make weight

Updated: February 25, 2011, 8:43 PM ET
By Josh Gross | ESPN.com

Paul Daley failed to make the welterweight limit for a British Association of Mixed Martial Arts championship bout versus Yuya Shirai in Manchester, England, prompting the promotion to change Saturday evening's headliner at MEN Arena to a three-round non-title affair.

After stepping on the scale two pounds over the 170-pound mark, Daley was given an hour to shed the excess weight. He remained heavy by just under half a pound.

"Even though our fights are in an unregulated country, we've made the decision that this will not be a title fight because we adhere to the unified rules of this great sport," said Ashley Bothwell, managing director of BAMMA.

According to a representative for Daley, limited access to a sauna near the weigh-in location complicated the fighter's cut. However, the 28-year-old Brit has a reputation for missing the mark when he steps on a scale. Friday's incident marks the fifth time in Daley's last 11 bouts that he did not make his contractual limit.

"I apologize to Shirai and the fans for missing weight," Daley said in a statement. "Although the fight is three rounds now I only need one round to knock him out. The fans came to see me win the title but I promise them, title or not, I'll win this fight and win it in style."

Still, a major prize remains at stake for Daley (26-9-2). Victory over Shirai (20-8), the current DEEP welterweight champion, would set Daley up to challenge Strikeforce titleholder Nick Diaz, perhaps as soon as April.

"I'm going after Diaz and I want to send him out the message that I mean business with my performance tomorrow night," Daley said.

The evening's co-main event was also marred when former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez missed his mark against James McSweeney. They were set to meet at a contracted limit of 215 pounds.

Josh Gross covers mixed martial arts for ESPN.com.