Daniel Straus is a man who likes to fight often, so it's completely understandable why he's beyond frustrated at the moment.
The Bellator season six featherweight tournament winner was so tired of waiting for his title shot due to a backlog of challengers that he actually took a non-title bout against UFC veteran Alvin Robinson last fall, submitting him in the second round.
That was the last time he's been seen inside the cage.
Since then, Straus has suffered setback after setback, from a broken hand which knocked him out of a title shot to a legal situation which caused some negative publicity.
Straus spoke to MMAmania.com about the frustrations of not competing, how quickly he'd accept a title fight and the potential for vengeance against Curran in this exclusive interview.
Check it out:
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You're a guy that loves to be active, but you haven't fought since October 2012 due to your broken hand and the legal situation. How are you handling sitting on the sidelines?
Daniel Straus: This year has been really trying for me man. First I broke my hand and then I got in a little bit of trouble which the media made it seem like I did this awful thing and I never got a chance to really tell my side of the story. This year had been really crazy. Not being able to fight, one of my outlets has always been the ability to fight. To not fight yet this year has caused me to go back to trying to figure out things in my life a different way. Using an outlet differently whether it's training or family or whatnot. Not getting to fight this August is a big blow to me but like you said, I've always been a gamer and I'm active. The next time I fight, nothing is gonna change.
I'm expecting my next fight to be for the Bellator title against Pat Curran. When I get back in the cage, it won't seem like I missed a beat. I'm not concerned about the layoff but it does hurt.
I'm not one to sit back and cry about stuff. You just gotta take it on the chin, man. It's like taking a loss in the cage. It sucks, it hurts, but you have to keep moving forward and learn from it. That's the only thing I can do. I don't want people to look at me differently. I've had ups and downs in my life. This is definitely not the worst down I've had. It won't mold me in any type of negative way. It won't hold me back from my dreams or what I want to do in life. I just got back in the gym and worked harder towards where I want to go.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): We heard about you breaking your hand before the Curran fight and Shamhalaev stepped in. How did that actually happen?
Daniel Straus: Well I train down here at ATT in Florida now, but I've got a daughter back home in Dayton where I originally grew up fighting and whatnot. I went home to Cincinnati to see my daughter and I was doing some training back there. I was rolling with one of my buddies Roger Bowling and it was just a little freak accident.
We were actually grappling, I wasn't even punching. He was going for an armbar and I was holding my hands together and he went to pull and my hands like pulled apart and there was a loud pop. I went to the doctor and had it X-rayed and sure enough it was broke. It sucked, it was at the worst time too, right before a world title fight. It was just like "ughhh!" Know what I mean?
I've recovered from it, done a lot of therapy with my hand and I've used it. Sometimes guys if they break their hand, they have this mental thing where they don't want to use it because they're afraid of breaking it again. Man, I'm swinging for the fences with this hand.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You mentioned that hopefully the next time you'll be seen in the cage will be against Pat Curran for the title. Do you think you'll be next to fight for it or will it be Frodo Khasbulaev?
Daniel Straus: I should be. I'm going through management and contract issues with Bellator but there's no reason I shouldn't be next. I'm ready, I'm healthy. I have no problems. I'm ready to rock. I'm ready to roll. If someone jumps the line, I'm gonna have a problem with it. You'll hear me making a fit about it and I will make a fit about it because there's no reason I shouldn't be next. I'm happy, I'm training and the legal issues are behind me. There's nothing holding me back right now and hasn't been for the longest time. Right now, as of today, there's nothing that shouldn't be holding me back. They're motto is "Earn your spot" and I think I've earned it. Anybody that's watched Bellator can obviously tell I've earned it.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Are you allowed to talk about whatever management issues you're having?
Daniel Straus: We're just trying to renew it, try to stay with the company and everything. It's not like some big, horrible issue. I would rather not get into it because I don't know what I can and can't say. But yeah, it's nothing horrible. I don't have any bad issues with Bellator. I love the company and everyone's been great for me. I don't have anything bad to say about them.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Would you be open and ready to fight on that pay-per-view card in November if given the opportunity?
Daniel Straus: I'd be ready to fight tomorrow if somebody asked me to. That's how I feel. You ask me to fight 15 minutes from now, give me my mouthpiece, give me a cup and lets go. That's just how I feel about it... I want to get inside the cage and I want to fight. I don't want it to be next year and I don't want it to be six months from now. I want to go in there and I want to fight. Everybody who knows me, look at my record, what I do is fight and I fight constantly. Right now I'm just sitting here and I don't like that. I want to be fighting.
You can follow Daniel on Twitter @DanielStraus.