Can Pat Curran reclaim the title that was once his? | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
If familiarity does indeed breed contempt, then Daniel Straus and Pat Curran should have no shortage of ammunition.
Straus will defend the Bellator MMA featherweight crown against Curran in the Bellator 112 main event on Friday at The Venue at Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Ind. Each man owns a victory over the other: Curran knocked out the American Top Team representative five years ago before Straus exacted his revenge in November, capturing the 145-pound championship with a unanimous decision at Bellator 106.
A Cincinnati native, Straus will enter the high-stakes rubber match on a string of six consecutive wins. The 29-year-old has compiled a stellar 8-1 record in Bellator, emerging as a consensus top 10-15 featherweight. Known for his grinding style, Straus has secured 14 of his 22 professional victories by decision, three of them of the five-round variety.
Curran’s loss to Straus halted a career-best six-fight winning streak that included highlight-reel knockouts against Marlon Sandro and Joe Warren. The 26-year-old has won 10 of his past 12 bouts, falling only to Straus and current Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez. Curran has delivered more than half (11) of his 19 career victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission.
With the Straus-Curran title fight as the showpiece, here are 10 facts surrounding Bellator 112:
FACT 1: Philadelphia Fight Factory export Sam Oropeza has finished four different opponents in less than a minute: Dave Concepcion (nine seconds), Chip Moraza-Pollard (37 seconds), Mitch Filer (47 seconds) and Koa Ramos (50 seconds).
FACT 2: A disciple of Bellator middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko, Andrey Koreshkov was a gold medalist at the World Combat Games and the FILA Pankration World Championships in 2010.
FACT 3: Before going on to become a two-time NCAA All-American wrestler at the University of Iowa, Paul Bradley went 168-18 at South Tama High School in Tama, Iowa, where he was a three-time state finalist.
FACT 4: Nathan Coy is one of three men to have held the Maximum Fighting Championship welterweight title. Pat Healy and Douglas Lima are the others.
FACT 5: Undefeated featherweight prospect Darrion Caldwell became the fifth wrestler in the history of North Carolina State University program to win an NCAA championship in 2009. He finished the season with a 38-1 record, with his only defeat resulting from an injury default. Caldwell still ranks second on the school’s all-time list in career wins (109), winning percentage (.893) and pins (58).
FACT 6: Jason Guida, the older brother of UFC featherweight Clay Guida, has not recorded back-to-back wins since defeating Mike Van Meer and Cristiano Machado dos Santos six days apart in March 2007.
FACT 7: Jesse Juarez has competed in 18 different organizations in his 29-fight career: Bellator, Strikeforce, Maximum Fighting Championship, BAMMA USA, Cage Fighting Championship, Extreme Fighters World Championships, Far Eastern Federation of Modern Pankration, Shark Fights, College Cage Series, Colloseo Championship Fighting, Long Beach Fight Night, Iroquois MMA Championships, Invincible, Total Combat, Gladiator Challenge, Total Fighting Alliance, Chaos in the Cage, Extreme Full Contact.
FACT 8: Chicago-based light heavyweight Anthony Gomez once trained under former World Extreme Cagefighting champion Miguel Torres.
FACT 9: Eleven of the undefeated Adam McDonough’s 12 professional bouts have taken place in his native Minnesota.
FACT 10: Bellator 112 will be the fourth event the promotion has staged in the state of Indiana, joining Bellator 60, Bellator 75 and Bellator 84.