Daniel Straus Thinks Fourth Fight With Patricio Freire Should Be Their Last
Daniel Straus spoke with MMAjunkie about his fight with Patricio Freire at Bellator 178 this Friday. Some highlights are below:
On facing Freire for a fourth time: “I don’t know, it’s kind of hard to explain sometimes. The good part is we kind of know each other; the bad part is we kind of know each other. It’s awkward. Sometimes it’s hard to get excited for the fight, on the other hand it’s not as hard to get excited for this fight, because you know what he’s going to bring to the table, he knows what I’m going to bring to the table. I know what he’s good at; he knows what I’m good at. It just makes the chess game a little bit harder. Where it’s like, ‘What is he going to do this time?’ I’ve gone back to our previous fights to, you know, look at them and look at what I did wrong, look at what I did right and look at what he did wrong, and what he did right.”
On hoping this is the last fight: “I think we need to move on. And (get) some of these new guys in there. A lot of people that haven’t noticed, this is like the end of an era. The end of the old Bellator era. I’m excited to get this fight over with and, once it’s over with, we’ll see what happens down the road. But right now, I think it’s good to get some fresh faces in there and some more fights, some newer fights.”
On his long layoff due to needing multiple surgeries on his hand: “It’s crazy. You have good days, bad days. You have days where you – there have been times when I didn’t even think I was going to fight again. There’s times when I’d keep doubting my comeback, and then there times when I felt like, ‘Hell yeah, I’m going to be back soon,’ just to have another hand surgery. You know, it’s just … it’s taxing. I think it’s all part of the fight game. I couldn’t let it beat me up, so I didn’t really – sometimes I was down and out, and next thing you know I’m feeling good and excited. The best thing about it is that everyone that’s been around me has helped me. Helped stay focused on the bigger picture, the big goal, and that it’s not going to be forever. The mental aspect, it’s just been a whirlwind.”
On the difficulties involved in the injury: “At first it’s just like, ‘Oh god, what I’m going to do, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to make a fist. If I do make a fist, will I be able to punch?’ It really was just one of those things that I had to get over mentally. Now I’m at a point where, hey, if it breaks again, it just breaks. I don’t really think about it anymore. I’m at a point where I’m like, ‘Hey, it’s just not a big deal.’ But at the beginning of the injury, it definitely was a big deal. Actually thinking, ‘Is this hand injury the end injury?’”
On the upside of time off: “I got to spend a lot of time with my family. I got to work on myself. I got to work on things that I never thought I was going to get to work on. But at the same time, I’ve missed this sport, I’ve missed fighting, I’ve missed paychecks. I missed everything that I love about fighting. But I also got to gain, as well. My body healed up. I’m feeling like I’m getting younger. All my nagging injuries I’ve had over the past years – neck injury, knee injuries, elbows, hips. All that has been able to heal up, as well as my hand. Mentally, I’ve been able to sit back, read and focus, think about things I heave’t thought about in years. I’ve got to look at the sport differently than I’d been looking at when I was in it. It definitely has its silver lining somewhere.”
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