Heading into 2012, Bellator featherweight Daniel Straus knew he needed to take chances if he was going to rebound off his loss to Patricio Freire in May of last year.
“Coming off that loss, I learned a lot,” said Straus. “It took a lot out of me. I wasn’t upset for myself, but was more upset with what I didn’t show.
“This year, coming back to Bellator, I wanted to be a different fighter and I wanted to stand out a little bit. I went back to the drawing board with my coaches and teammates and started working really hard. Coming back and getting some solid wins and winning (the Season 6 featherweight) tournament has helped me a lot.”
Having won three straight Bellator fights (four overall) and taking a tournament title would normally be enough for just about any fighter, but as Straus told MMAWeekly.com, he still feels he hasn’t delivered what he’s capable of.
“I’m not going to lie to you, I feel like I can do a lot better than I’ve been doing,” he said. “Even though my fight with Mike Corey was a great, great fight, I had a lot of holes and was missing a lot and didn’t perform to the level that I expected myself to perform. I feel like I have a long way to go.
“I really feel like I have more to offer and I’m just going to continue with that focus and motivation and get to the top.”
Rather than sit back and wait for his promised title shot for winning the tournament, Straus intends to stay busy, starting on Friday night when he takes on former UFC fighter Alvin “Kid” Robinson in Dayton, Ohio, at Bellator 78.
“He’s obviously a great ground guy, and I’m not afraid to go into his territory, but I obviously want to stay away from his strength,” said Straus of Robinson. “He has some solid stand-up. I feel like my stand-up is better, but he’s definitely still dangerous on his feet.
“He has great cardio and has a bunch of finishes, so he’s obviously a guy who knows how to come in shape and get the job done. He’s definitely an opponent to worry about.”
Though he’s in the advantageous position of having a title shot lined up, Straus is not looking past Robinson and intends to fight like he’s got something to prove.
“If you overlook an opponent, you’ll most likely lose that fight, so I try not to look past anybody,” said Straus. “I always feel like I’m the underdog, no matter what. I feel like if I look at it like that, I’ll fight like I’m the underdog and it’s going to give me the win.”
Should Straus get past Robinson, his next step is simple, be crowned Bellator 145-pound champion.
“My goal is to get that belt around my waist,” he said. “I’m waiting for the winner of the Patricio Freire and Pat Curran fight. I’d like to get a win over Alvin and find out who I’m fighting for the belt and get in there and get the job done against them as well.”
Stay tuned to MMAWeekly.com for all of your Bellator news and updates.