This is the live blog for Patricio Freire vs. Daniel Straus. "Pitbull" Freire is 16-1 MMA. He advanced to the finals of this tournament having beaten Wilson Reis and Georgi Karakhanyan. Daniel Straus is 16-3, defeating Kenny Foster and Nazareno Malegarie in the prior two rounds. The winner of this fight wins a $100,000 purse and a shot a Bellator featherweight champion Joe Warren.
Play-by-play for this fight provided by Bloody Elbow's Dallas G. Winston.
Round 1 - The featherweight tournament finale begins with Jason Herzog at the helm again. Pitbull takes the center and wings an overhand right. They clinch and Straus hits a hip throw, but Pitbull springs back to his feet and digs in with Straus against the fence. Pitbull looks for a trip that Straus defends. The fighters play the circle-out game with over-under, Straus knees and again goes for the hip throw. Pitbull counters and they break back to the standing position.
Straight left by Straus, then a high kick, both blocked by Pitbull. Straus shoots directly into a Pitbull guillotine, but he's patient in defending, then nails a takedown. Pitbull bounces immediately back to his feet again, and we're back to clinching against the fence. Straight left to the body from Straus, inside low kick by Pitbull, who then pursues with a lunging left hook. Straus shoots, but Pitbull with the picture-perfect sprawl. Straus grabs wrist control, transitions to the body lock, and Pitbull shakes him off. Pitbull unleashes a hard flying knee that partially connects to close the round.
Round 2 - One-two by Straus, Pitbull ducks under to threaten with a takedown. They retake the center, and Pitbull springs for a huge double-leg to plant the All American high school wrestler on his back. Straus shrimps out, gets to a knee, and Pitbull hammers a knee that could have been to the head when Straus was downed. The replay shows that it was clearly to the midsection and perfectly legal.
We restart with Pitbull striking aggressively, then alternating in a takedown attempt that Straus defends. Pitbull attacks again with firm strikes to set up his takedown attempt, which Straus defends, which is all the southpaw can do as the momentum shifts to Pitbull. Double jab from Straus; Pitbull switching from counter-strikes and level changes to keep Straus at bay. Now we have a cup-kick from Straus, who apologizes, and they re-engage. Left high-kick by Straus is blocked. Now Straus commits to punches, but Pitbull again changes levels and hits a takedown, but Straus is quickly back to his fee and counters with his signature hip throw. Another close one.
Round 3 - Straus opens the third with a purpose, leading with strikes and shooting a double. Pitbull repels him, and Straus fires on the feet again. Straight left by Straus, Pitbull ducks under to halt him. Pitbull measures with the jab and uncorks a three-piece, closing with the uppercut. Straight right by Pitbull lands clean again, and Straus dives for a takedown. Pitbull sprawls soundly, and controls the head as Straus turtles. Straus with wrist control to stand, but eats a hard knee for his effort.
Inside low kick lands for Pitbull, who still presses the action. A Straus left hand beckons Pitbull to taunt him, sticking out his chin. Straus responds with punches that Pitbull handles with another level drop, ushering Straus to the cage. Another one-two by Straus. Pitbull raises his arms in celebration with twenty seconds left, then follows with a hard flying knee. Straus blocks it but is back on his heels, then slams Pitbull from the rear waistlock. Pitbull scampers loose and ends the round peppering Straus with punches from the top.
Patricio Freire defeats Daniel Straus by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27).