Michael Chandler and Eddie Alvarez aren’t the only ones competing in a highly-anticipated trilogy. This Friday, Daniel Straus puts his Featherweight World Championship on the line against Pat Curran at Bellator 112.
Straus (22-4) won the sixth season of the promotion’s 145-pound tournament and immediately received a title shot against Curran at Bellator 106. The Ohio native won by unanimous decision and extended his winning streak to six in a row.
Meanwhile, Curran’s (19-5) loss snapped a six match winning streak that begin in July 2011. Their initial meeting went far more favorably for Curran as he knocked Straus out when they competed under the XFO banner, XFO being a Midwestern MMA organization.
The choice to grant Curran an immediate rematch has caused controversy in the MMA community, as many deem his underwhelming performance last November reason enough to give Patricio Freire a go against Straus. However, CEO Bjorn Rebney saw an opportunity for a trilogy and enacted the promotion’s championship rematch clause, which grants a losing opponent an immediate chance at redemption.
Preceding the Straus-Curran main event are a slew of welterweight tournament opening round matches.
UFC veteran Nah-Shon Burrell faces Andrey Koreshkov in the night’s co-main event. Burrell (10-3-1) hasn’t lost since his release from the UFC, receiving a “No Contest” against Mike Wade last September and defeating Jesus Martinez in his Bellator debut.
Koreshkov (14-1) won the season seven Bellator welterweight tournament and extended his winning streak to 13 in a row. His sole loss came by TKO at hands of Ben Askren at Bellator 97. Both fighters are forced to adjust to a new opponent as Koreshkov was supposed to fight Jesse Juarez and Burrell expected to fight Jonathan “War Machine” Koppenhaver.
An injury is forcing Joe Riggs to bow out of his match with Sam Oropeza. In his place is undefeated Brazilian Cristiano Souza.
A Fight Master veteran, Souza (7-0) has finished six of seven fights either by knockout or submission. His last victory came with a rear-naked choke submission of Alejandro Garcia at Bellator 106. Meanwhile, none of Oropeza’s (10-2) victories have gone to the judge’s scorecard. His Bellator debut last November ended with a TKO of Chip Moraza-Pollard second in the first round.
Ousted from his match with Koreshkov, Juarez will now fight Adam McDonough in the first main card fight of the evening. Juarez (21-8) is a Bellator veteran who competed in Bellator’s second-ever fight card. Since, he’s traveled from promotion to promotion finally re-signing with Bellator two years ago. Juarez takes a four match winning streak into Bellator 112, last defeating Joe Williams by guillotine choke last November.
McDonough (9-0) isn’t one to take matches past the third round. Since beginning his MMA career in 2007, the Minnesota product has won eight of his matches by stoppage, including a first round TKO of Johnny Buck at Bellator 100.
The full Bellator 112 fight card can be seen below.
Bellator Featherweight World Title Fight:
Daniel Straus (22-4) vs. Pat Curran (19-5)
Bellator Welterweight Tournament Opening Round:
Andrey Koreshkov (14-1) vs. Nah-Shon Burrell (11-3)
Sam Oropeza (10-2) vs. Cristiano Souza (7-0)
Jesse Juarez (21-8) vs. Adam McDonough (9-0)
Nathan Coy (13-4) vs. Paul Bradley (21-5) -Bellator Welterweight Tournament Opening Round:
A.J. Matthews (6-2) vs. Belal Muhammad (4-0)
Diego Marlon (24-8) vs. Lloyd Carter (5-5)
Darrion Caldwell (3-0) vs. Lance Surma (2-0)
Derek Loffer (6-2) vs. Bobby Reardanz (8-12)
Jason Guida (19-27) vs. Anthony Gomez (7-2)
Daniel James (debut) vs. Erick Correa (2-0)
For complete coverage of Bellator 112 visit SciFighting.com