Daniel Straus swiped Pat Curran's featherweight title at Bellator 106 Saturday evening.
Utilizing a calculated, wrestle-heavy game plan, Straus overwhelmed the champion for the fight's duration and took home a clear-cut unanimous decision victory.
Curran, who strolled into the fight on an impressive six-fight winning streak, failed to open up and put together combinations, and he was forced to fight from the defensive for the majority of the fight's 25 minutes.
This fight was, for the most part, a disappointment.
Curran is known as one of the division's most explosive and creative strikers, but he simply could not get going in this one.
The game plan employed by Straus was absolutely perfect, and despite eating a vicious illegal knee (credit: GIF overlord Zombie Prophet), the Ohioan stuck to his team's strategy and executed takedown after takedown against the overmatched champ.
Curran did enjoy brief periods of offensive success, but he never hurt Straus (aside from the illegal knee), and he could never sustain his attack for more than a few seconds.
The champ appeared more tentative than usual on his feet, and he never seemed to sense that he was behind on the scorecards. This was Curran's downfall, as he never flipped the switch and aggressively pursued Straus.
For Straus, this worked perfectly, as he was free to set up his takedowns and execute.
Still, Curran is an elite fighter, and he is certainly one of Bellator's top featherweights, so a trilogy between these two is imminent. Unless "Paddy Mike" can can the leaks in his takedown defense, however, I think Straus' reign continues well into the promotion's future.
For now, Straus has earned his title as Bellator's top 145-pounder and snatched Curran's strap with authority.
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