UNCASVILLE, Conn. — Raymond Daniels certainly didn’t go into his Bellator 245 main-card opener against Peter Stanonik looking to put his opponent out on a stretcher after a pair of horrific low blows.
But that’s what happened, as the fight ended early in the second round due to back-to-back spinning back kicks which landed below the waistline, the second of which ended the bout in a no-contest. And the champion kickboxer-turned-mixed martial artist, who does not have a reputation as a dirty fighter, was mortified with how things played out Friday night.
“I hope my opponent Peter is OK,” Daniels told MMA Junkie after the fight. “Obviously I never mean to hit anybody with any type of low blows, or any time you knock a person out or down, obviously, I want them to be OK, so I hope that he is OK.”
It was clear from the outset Daniels (2-1 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) was looking for a highlight-reel knockout, as he threw flashy strikes throughout the fight. While Daniels believes his first one wasn’t far off the target, he said he knew right away the second one landed on Stanonik (5-4 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) way too low.
“I had an entire different ending in my mind, but unfortunately it didn’t get there,” Daniels said. “First time that’s ever kind of happened. The first time I thought it was a body shot, but my foot is kind of big so it covers a lot. The second time I definitely hit him in the groin pretty clean.
“He kicked me and kind of knocked me off balance, which made me miss my target a little bit. So, you know, it’s unfortunate. 2020 has been that kind of crazy year, all sorts of stuff has happened, I normally don’t miss my kicks like that.”
Daniels still has faith in his ability to throw spinning back kicks, which he believes is his greatest weapon. But he’s still in disbelief things played out as they did on Friday night.
“The spin kick is the hardest technique to throw in all of combat sports,” Daniels said. “My spin kick is my bazooka, my greatest grenade launcher, whatever you want to call it. It can end things in an instant, wherever it lands. Unforunately it landed in the wrong vicinity, I hope he’s OK, like I said, I never want to hurt my opponents in that way where they have to get carried off or anything like that.”