After a very successful 2012 that saw him go undefeated and win the Bellator flyweight tournament, Daniel Straus has had to sit on the sidelines and wait to get his hard-earned title shot because of a hand injury.
“Any hand injury in this sport is going to set you back, and it definitely set me back a little, but I let it heal and relaxed and it’s doing pretty good,” said Straus.
Because of the injury, Straus had to focus on other things in training, and now that his hand is better, he feels just as confident in himself as he was before it happened.
“When you don’t have your hand, you’ve got to work on other things,” said Straus. “You can’t rely on using your hands as much as far as punching and grappling goes. I had to change game plans and things like that, but I’m back to where I was at (prior to the injury).”
Straus (21-4) will finally get his title shot on Nov. 2 at Bellator 106 against Pat Curran. The fight will take place on the main card televised on Spike TV after the promotion shifted gears when it’s pay-per-view main event fell apart.
It’s a rematch of a bout the two had very early in their careers, which Curran (19-4) won by second-round knockout.
“After that first fight with Pat, I’ve won 17 of 18 fights and went on a two-year winning streak, so it definitely changed me as a fighter, and Pat’s changed as well,” said Straus. “Since then I’ve gone to different camps and have gotten better.
“(The loss) doesn’t bother me. I don’t think about it. It is part of my career and it doesn’t deter me from this next fight. We’re both different fighters, so it’s like meeting each other all over again.”
Straus told MMAWeekly.com that the keys to the fight would be his aggressive nature and his evolved skills since their initial meeting in 2009.
“I have to go out and press (Curran) like he’s never been pressed before,” said Straus. “He’s obviously a great athlete, a great boxer, he’s got strong jiu-jitsu, but I feel I beat him on wrestling technique.
“It’s just a different fight this time around. I’ve gotten better in my boxing over the years and it just becomes a different fight this time around, with me not having boxing or jiu-jitsu skills (before).”
Now that he’s finally gotten the title shot he’s been waiting for all year, Straus is eager to take the title and move forward and establish himself as the person to beat in the promotion’s 145-pound division.
“I’m just happy to be fighting for the belt, whether it’s on PPV or Spike,” said Straus. “I’m not focused on who is on the card, where the card it is at. I’m just glad to be on this stage and be fighting for a title.
“I’m already thinking if I beat (Curran), they’ll give me a rematch, but I want to beat this guy, move on to the next guy, and be the dominant force in this weight class in Bellator.”