Daniel Straus: ‘I Had Patricio Freire Figured Out a While Ago’ (Exclusive)

Daniel Straus
Image Credit: Bellator MMA

Bellator featherweight champion Daniel Straus doesn’t appear to be bothered by much.

Straus hasn’t competed in a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) bout since Nov. 2015 due to a bad break in his left hand. The hand was in such bad shape that the champion had to undergo three surgeries. Straus has been cleared and will put his title on the line against Patricio Freire this Friday night (April 21) for Bellator 178.

In a recent interview with MMANews.com‘s very own Tim Thompson, Straus said he won’t be hesitant to throw the left hand during the fight:

“Not at all, I’ve been training really hard for a while now since November. I’ve been trying to put it on. The first time I got back into sparing and I threw it, yeah I was a little hesitant. But that went away right away. I feel like my hand is stronger, (I) got my grip strength back. My wind is good, my mind is good, my body’s good, so I’m ready to go.”

When Straus battles Freire, it’ll mark his fourth encounter with “Pitbull.” Freire won the first two bouts, while Straus emerged victorious in their last outing. The 145-pound ruler feels he’s always had Freire’s number despite earlier losses:

“I had him figured out a while ago. People ask that and it’s like, I was beating the brakes off of him before in our second fight. And in our first fight, it was a very close fight. I think the first fight is the only fight I’ll really give it to him. The second fight I felt like I had a mental lapse and just kinda like zoned out and he took advantage of that as he should have. To stay mentally tough is what’s always gonna help me.”

You can listen to the full interview below: