Our live fight coverage of Bellator 106 continues with our first title fight of the evening as Bellator MMA featherweight champion Pat Curran looked to defend his title against Season 6 tournament champion Daniel Straus. In the end, it would be the tenacious sustained assault of Straus that would help him wrest the title tonight in Long Beach, California.
Straus Upsets Curran
Daniel Straus’ tumultuous year will have at least have one huge positive as the former HS Senior National wrestling champion as able to take the title from Pat Curran. Straus used a solid balance of grinding grappling attacks with short bursts of violent striking to control Curran for the majority of the fight. The fight really seemed to hinge on an errant third round knee from Curran that nearly ended the fight via no contest or disqualified.
Straus really turned it on after recovering and capitalized on the point deduction by turning the round into a 10-8 round. Straus kept up the intensity in the fourth and the fifth rounds of the tournament to solidify his title-winning effort. Straus and Curran were both classy after the decision was read, with Straus acknowledging he will likely face Curran again.
Straus will now face Season 8 tournament winner Magomedrasul “Frodo” Khasbulaev sometime in early-2014, while Curran will likely look to work his way back through the tournament bracket in 2014.
Rd. 1- Jason Herzog is our referee tonight. Touch of gloves early. Nice right hand by Curran. Straus attacks with a double and stays tenacious to get the takedown. Curran uses the cage to stand and fights out. Nice 1-2 by Straus. Curran stops a double. Legkick by Curran. Body kick and a left hand from Straus land nicely. Curran stops the advance with a solid counter. Accidental cupshot by Curran and we’re back on. Body kick by Straus answers a Curran combo. Knees in the clinch and then an elbow and uppercut by Curran before Straus breaks. Hard legkick by Curran. Straus lands a step-in 1-2 before changing levels and attacking with an ankle pick. Curran with some elbows to defend here. Curran fends off the takedown but Straus has a bodylock now. Hard elbows by Curran break the clinch. 1-2 to a kick by Curran. Good scrap at the end of the round. MMAFrenzy has it 10-9 Straus.
Rd. 2- Curran with a nice jab to start the round. Legkick by Curran and a combo stops a Staus takedown. Nasty combo to a flying knee by Curran lands very well. Curran stays controlled though. Nice left by Straus. Great Curran uppercut stops a clinch by Straus. Good right by Curran and he gets pushed down by Straus but he is back up. Curran’s striking is much more effective this round. Straus goes to the Thai clinch but gets tagged by shots on the inside before a combo to the body makes him let go. Body kick by Straus. Nice right by Curran is answered well by Curran. Combo by Straus is answered by a more vicious combo from Curran and the champ stuffs a takedown. Headkick by Curran is checked. Straus throws one of his own that’s checked. Straus tries to clinch and eats a wicked over-the-top elbow. Nice left by Curran and a sweet counter left by Straus. Good technical fight so far. MMAFrenzy has it 10-9 Curran (19-19)
Rd. 3- Touch of gloves. Body kick by Curran answers a Straus combo. Combo by Curran is finished with a legkick that drops Straus but he’s right back up. Flying knee to a headkick by Straus misses. Nice left by Straus and he transitions to a takedown. Curran is using the cage to defend and land short strikes. Body lock by Straus and he misses a trip. Curran isn’t panicking against the cage and keeps throwing strikes as Straus looks for the inside and outside trip to no avail. Straus tries a hiptoss but the cage helps Curran stop it and reverse position. Straus again tries the throw and as he stands he eats a huge illegal knee from Curran. Straus is hurting here as the fight is stopped for the doc to come in. Herzog takes a point from Curran for the knee. Fighters shake on the restart and Straus lands a takedown into side control. Straus with a few short shots but not signifigant and Curran recovers guard. Curran misses a triangle as the round ends. Point deduction is huge in this fight. MMAFrenzy has it 10-8 Straus (29-27).
Rd. 4-Nice combo by Curran to open the round. Straus is very aggressive and controls the clinch. Knees to the body by clinch. Doubleleg takedown by Straus and Curran stands with Straus on his back. Nice snatch and return by Straus and he has Curran’s back. Curran fights hands and he is back up as Straus knees his thighs. Curran tries to set up a guillotine but cannot get there. Surprise guillotine attack by Curran but Straus pops his head out with just over a minute left. Strikes by Straus sets up his own guillotine and Curran is bleeding badly from a scalp cut as the round ends. MMAFrenzy has it 10-9 Straus (39-36)
Rd. 5- Touch of gloves to start the round. Straus pressures early and lands a nice left and a push kick. Combo by Curran and he lands another. Jumping knees by Straus are blocked. Counter left by Straus hurts Curran and Curran battles back before Straus gets the clinch. Knees by Straus and he gives a thumbs up and a smile to his corner before Curran reverses position. Straus tries yet another hip toss but it isn’t there and Curran misses a trip of his own. Curran has not showed much urgency before a takedown and he misses an omaplata that all but seals his fate. MMAFrenzy has the round 10-9 Curran but the fight (48-46) Straus.
Daniel Straus def. Pat Curran via unanimous decision (49-45,48-46,48-46)