Bellators Daniel Straus: “he’s going to respect my improvement.”

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“I really wanted to get back to the belt. I wanted to make sure that mentally I was in the right place and was not here to just be here.”

With the win over Wilcox, Straus (23-5) has set himself up for a featherweight title match with current champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (22-2) at Bellator 132 in Temecula, Calif., on Friday.

“I feel like I have to go out there and just dominate him,” said Straus of Freire. “There’s no playing with this guy. He’s a monster. He’s very talented, a hard-hitting guy, and is very well-rounded. I have to go out and show that I’m the same way.

“I’m definitely not the same fighter he fought three years ago and he’s definitely going to know it. I’ve improved, everyone has seen my improvement, and he’s going to respect my improvement.”

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