Last night in Hammond, Indiana, the Bellator 112 event went down main event-ed by the Featherweight title bout between Champion Daniel Straus and the former champion Pat Curran. Straus captured the belt from Curran in their last meeting, and this is their third meeting overall, with the pair being 1-1 against each other. Bellator had a lot riding on the trilogy story, and both men delivered with a solid technical match that ended definitively in Curran’s favor with under 30 seconds to go in the bout. Considering you almost never see a fifth round submission, both men deserve credit for leaving it all in the cage.
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It is hard to watch Bellator, especially the Spanish broadcast which I saw for this show, because the announcers are homers all the way. It was a very solid, good match between two very evenly matched fighters who know each others game very well. It was not a war to end all wars, so to speak, and certainly Jose Aldo is not worried about anyone else but the announcers thinking these are the best featherweights in the world.
Curran started out aggressive and seemed to win the first round. Curran got he better of the standup, and he took Straus down. The 2nd and 3rd rounds saw him slow down a bit, and they saw Straus start to get in his offense, though methodically.
The fourth round saw the pace settle even further, as both men were weary and had earned each others respect in the exchanges. This pace continued until late in the fifth, when Straus gave up his back and looked to defend as Curran went for the rear naked choke. Several times, Straus signalled he was OK, he was fine, but the time was still on the clock, and Curran adjusted even further, finally sinking the choke and getting the tap out with about 20 seconds left.
It was a strong and dramatic finish to a good fight on an otherwise lackluster card for Bellator. Look for Straus to come back for the season 11 featherweight tournament, while Curran settles back into being the champion.