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Bellator 145 highlights: Straus wins thriller over Pitbull to recapture featherweight belt

There was no miracle comeback for Patricio Pitbull this time, as his reign as featherweight champion came to an end in his trilogy bout with Daniel Straus.


Patricio Freire entered the Bellator 145 main event with a 2-0 record vs. Daniel Straus, including their thrilling rematch earlier this year, which Pitbull won by dramatic rear-naked choke in round 4. The reigning featherweight champion was looking to make it 3-for-3 against Straus, but the challenger had other ideas.

There wasn't too much to separate these men in round 1 (although Straus had a cool flying knee), but midway through round 2, Straus absolutely drilled the champion with a massive left hand following two jabs and sent him to the canvas. In deep trouble and dazed, Pitbull went for an armbar but Straus defended it well. It was clear that Pitbull was still badly hurt as round 2 ended, and Straus was in full control. Daniel's striking kept Patricio at a distance and he was lethal with his left hand and his kicks.  To his credit, the Brazilian managed to survive Straus' best shots and kept fighting back, and he was able to gather himself late in round 4. Straus appeared to be favoring and shaking out his left hand, the very hand that he'd beaten up Pitbull with, and Pitbull turned up the pace and the sense of urgency.

Round 5 was absolutely bonkers. Straus' left hand was clearly giving him some problems, and Patricio went for another dramatic comeback. He took Daniel down, sunk both hooks in, momentarily flattened him out, but couldn't get the finish. When they returned to their feet, Straus didn't go with the conservative route to the final bell. He stood and traded with Pitbull in an amazing final 30 seconds which saw Pitbull give everything he had, even stunning Straus late, but ultimately it wasn't enough.

Official decision: Daniel Straus def. Patricio Freire via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46) to become the new Bellator featherweight champion

Straus, who had lost his Bellator title in heartbreaking fashion to Pat Curran in March 2014 with 14 seconds left in round 5, and then came up short in a fight he was winning vs. Pitbull earlier this year, once again had his troubles in the championship rounds, only this time he ends up with the belt in his possession. For Freire, he suffers just the third loss of his career, but he was valiant in defeat.

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