Daniel Straus Going Mental to Start Climb Back to Bellator Title

Looking back on his loss this past February to Patricio “Pitbull” Freire for the Bellator featherweight championship, former titleholder Daniel Straus knows he had the bout in hand, but made a mistake that ended up costing him the fight.

“What I don’t think well for me was getting choked out,” joked Straus. “I don’t think that worked in my favor at all. (In all seriousness) I think I did everything well, but had a mental error at the end of the fight. Other than that, I was beating (Freire). I lost a point, but was still beating this guy.”

Straus admits he made the same mistake against Pat Curran in his previous loss in 2014. It’s something he knows he cannot continue to do if he wants to get back to being a champion.

Daniel Straus“I’ve got to stay mentally focused and not half-ass it in there,” said Straus. “I can’t just sometimes be in there, I have to always be all the way in there, and that is what is going to win me fights. Mental mistakes have cost me fights. I can’t allow myself to get that way.”

While that’s one aspect of his game he knows he needs to change, Straus feels there’s no need to completely uproot things, but rather strive to improve, win or lose.

“I can’t say there haven’t been any changes, because changes always need to be made, no matter how well you’re doing or how poorly you’re doing,” he said. “I want to get better on my defense, better on my boxing, better on my wrestling. I want to change to get better.”

Straus (23-6) will seek to avoid losing back-to-back bouts for the first time in his career when he takes on promotional newcomer Henry Corrales (12-0) at Bellator 138 on Friday in St. Louis.

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“I feel like I’ve got to take it to him,” said Straus of Corrales. “He’s coming up, is young, hungry and coming into a major organization, and is going to try to make a name for himself against a former champion. That’s going to be his thing. I can’t let that happen.”

For Straus, a win on June 19 could be what propels him back into title contention, but that’s not what he’s focused on – winning is.

“It doesn’t matter,” he said. “If it does, that’s great. If it doesn’t, that’s great. I just want to get those wins. I worry about getting wins before anything else. I can’t worry about getting back to a title before then, because that won’t get me anywhere.”