Daniel Straus won the Bellator Season 6 Featherweight Tournament to earn a title shot and rematch against Pat Curran, but had to withdraw from the fight due to broken hand. They were originally slated to meet in April, but the bout was pushed back to Saturday’s Bellator 106 fight card in Long Beach, Calif.
The two first fought in 2009, when Curran defeated Straus by knockout.
Straus took Curran down early, but Curran used the cage to stand. Strauss dictated the pace throughout the opening round.
Curran, known as a slow starter, increased his output in the second round. The round was closely contested with each having their moments in exchanges. Curran began to work Straus’ body as the round wore on.
Straus took the fight to the champion in the third frame, leaping in with a flying knee in the opening moments. He pressed Curran against the fence and tossed him to the canvas. Curran immediately got back to his feet, but was thrown to the ground again. In the scramble that ensued, Curran delivered an illegal knee that landed flush on the jaw of the downed Straus. Curran immediately recognized the infraction. Straus was evaluated by the ringside doctor and deemed able to continue.
A point was deducted from Curran for the foul and the fight restarted.
Straus closed the distance and secured a takedown when action resumed. Curran looked for a triangle choke, but Straus used the submission attempt to move to side control as the round ended.
Straus clinched and took Curran down early in the fourth round. Curran worked his way back to his feet only to be slammed to the canvas. Straus stayed on Curran. He gave him no space in his relentless wrestling attack. Straus delivered elbows and punches, opening up a cut on Curran’s scalp.
Straus turned it on in the final round, winning the striking exchanges. He landed a left hand that wobbled Curran. They battled for position along the cage for most of the round. As the bell sounded signifying the end of the fight, Straus had top position on the ground.
It looked like he did enough to take the title from Curran and the judges agreed. They scored it for Straus by unanimous decision. The scorecards read 49-45, 48-46 and 48-46.
“It’s good. It’s a good feeling. I worked really hard with my team at ATT (American Top Team),” said Straus after capturing the title. “Pat Curran is a tough dude. I will see him again. I will. I know it.”