As if the Bellator featherweight division wasn't backlogged enough with two men already being promised title shots, Tuesday night's injury to champion Pat Curran put a serious damper on the situation.
With Bellator season four tournament winner Patricio "Pitbull" Freire still waiting for his shot at the belt, poor Daniel Straus, who won the season six featherweight tournament, will almost certainly be stuck in MMA purgatory while he waits for everyone to heal up and the division to sort itself out.
But Straus is proactive.
Never one to turn down an opportunity for a fight, the Vision MMA fighter stepped up and asked to face the still-healthy "Pitbull" earlier today during an appearance on Bloody Elbow Radio.
Find out exactly what he had to say after the jump:
Matt Bishop: We all got the news that Pat Curran is out of his Bellator 73 fight against Patricio Pitbull next week. Since he's the champion, that leaves you in a bit of limbo. What was your thoughts when you first heard Pat was out of that fight.
Daniel Straus: The night that the news came out, I actually went to bed early that day and the next morning my phone was just ringing off the hook with texts and e-mails and everybody just asking me about if I was gonna get to fight him and I didn't know what was going on. When I initially found out he'd broken his orbital socket, obviously that sucks. I feel bad for him and wish him a quick recovery. I'm not sure if they're gonna have Pitbull and me fight.
The way Bellator is set up, it kinda defeats the purpose of an interim fight, but I'd always like to fight him. Fighting on a week's notice, especially a fight like that is hard to do but the whole situation is kind of messed up right now. We're all sitting back to see what goes on and see what happens.
Matt Bishop: A lot of guys in your situation, Daniel, would run from a predicament like this, but you want Pitbul on a week's notice. Why is that? You're risking all the work you've accomplished so far.
Daniel Straus: I look at it like this man. Even getting to the position I'm at now in the fight game, I wouldn't be here if I didn't take chances. I took a lot of fights on a week's notice. I feel that's what got me to the position I'm in. To me, a fighter is a fighter and he should be ready to fight at all times. That goes the same for me. Would I like a little more time to prepare for him? Yeah, I would love to. It's not like this fight is solid or anything like there's a contract behind it but if they gave me an opportunity and everything was lined up and I had a week, I would definitely fight him. I think that's just my mentality.
Matt Bishop: What would you say the chances of that fight happening are right now?
Daniel Straus: I would say 50/50 man. Again, it's a fight that I'm sure a lot of people want to see but again, it's really risky and not just on my behalf but on Bellator's behalf. Finding a guy to fight him on a week's notice has got to be hard and obviously I'm the next guy in line to fight him but it's all up in the air. It's up to the officials at Bellator, Bjorn and Sam and all those guys. If they want it to happen, the fight's gonna happen. If they can't, then the fight's not gonna happen but I'll never turn down an opponent, ever. Not on one day's notice or one week's notice. That's how I've always been. Sometimes it's not the smart move but that's just who I am. If I'm given the opportunity to fight him then I'll definitely fight him. If not, then I understand why.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): The crazy part about this as well, Daniel, is that not only would you be taking this fight on a week's notice but you'd also be stepping in for a rematch because he defeated you in a tough decision in the finals of the season four tournament so that makes it even crazier that you'd be willing to go in there against a guy who stopped your big winning streak last year.
Daniel Straus: It's just how the cards are drawn. Not every guy is gonna win every fight. I have a good record but it's not squeaky clean. I have four losses and 20 wins. One of those losses came to Pat Curran and one came to Pitbull so it's like any chance I get to fight one of those guys again, I'm definitely gonna jump at it. In the meantime, I've been preparing myself not for either guy in particular but I've continued training and I feel good. If that fight is available for me, it might happen. If not, it's not. One thing's for sure, one of us is going to lose a title fight, that's for sure. People keep asking me if it's worth risking that and to me, of course it is. Always. I'm gonna prove myself being better than the next man, I'll take the fight. I'm not hide behind the next guy or wait until a guy gets hurt or wait until someone gets finished. It's about fighting the things in front of you right this minute. That's what intrigues me about it.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Now the downside to all this is if you can't get this fight against Pitbull and they end up waiting for Curran to heal, you could be sidelined for at least six months and potentially longer while waiting for your shot. Does that bother you especially considering you're a fighter who likes to fight often?
Daniel Straus: It bothers me a little bit, but again, it's just how it falls. Either way can be a blessing. If I get to fight him and I win, look what just happened. If I don't get to fight him, then I get to prepare more and beat him down the road and whatnot. To me, it's not a stress issue whatsoever. If I don't get to fight for the next six months, then that's just more training for the next six months, getting better for the next six months. I don't look at sitting on the sidelines as a negative thing. Of course I always want to be in the cage, always want to be fighting, but as long as I'm doing what I'm doing to better myself, then that's fine.
You can follow Daniel on Twitter @DanielStraus.
Stay tuned in a couple hours as we have Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney's response to Straus' efforts!