Bellator 132 Fight Breakdown: Patricio Pitbull vs. Daniel Straus

patricio_pitbullThe main event of Bellator 132 is a five-round title fight between Bellator featherweight champion Patricio Pitbull and Daniel Straus. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Pitbull is a -180 favorite (bet $180 to win $100) while Straus is a +140 underdog (bet $100 to win $140). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Pitbull at -315 and Straus at +235, and the early action has been on the dog Straus. It’s a close fight to call but I slightly lean towards Straus as the underdog. Here’s why. Pitbull (22-2) is one of the finest featherweight fighters in MMA. The 28-year-old Brazilian is 10-2 in Bellator with wins over Pat Curran, Justin Wilcox, Wilson Reis, Georgi Karakhanyan and Diego Nunes, among others, as well holding a prior win over Straus, the man he fights at Bellator 132 for the belt. Pitbull is an excellent boxer with brutal knockout power and the takedown defence to keep his fights standing to use it. He has eight knockouts in his career, but he also has eight submissions, proving he is a well-rounded fighter. He does not have a submission win in five years though, as he has focused on using his striking to win his fights, and it’s been working out for him as he has only lost to Curran and Joe Warren in his entire career, both times via controversial decision. The first time he fought Straus he was able to outwork him to win the Bellator featherweight tournament, and this time around he’ll look to do the same thing, only with the title on the line. Straus (22-5, 1 NC) is one of the best featherweights in the world as well. The 30-year-old American is also 10-2 in Bellator with wins over Curran, Wilcox, Marlon Sandro and Mike Corey, to name a few. The American Top Team fighter is a massive featherweight and uses his size to bully his opponents around the cage. While he is mostly known as being a grinder, he is improving his finishing ability and will likely see increases in his total stoppages soon enough (he currently has four T/KO wins and five submission wins to his credit.) He has really good cardio and is able to keep up an impressive pace for a full 25 minutes. He has only one loss in his last eight fights, a submission defeat to Curran in the pair’s trilogy fight. His only other loss in the last five years is to Pitbull, the man he fights for the title this weekend. Straus will be looking to take this fight to the mat and use his top control to smother Pitbull, but with Pitbull’s impeccable takedown defence, that will be easier said than done. If Straus is successful in implementing his grinding style, though, he could very well come through with the upset. Pitbull controlled the pair’s first fight and he has done nothing but improve in the last four years, but Straus, I think, has improved even more. It’s hard for me to pick against Pitbull because I think he’s one of the best featherweights on the planet, but I feel like Straus can use his size advantage and bully Pitbull around the cage in the fight and win a close decision on the scorecards. If he can replicate his performance from the second Curran fight, then the title will be his. It’s tough to bet against Pitbull because of his knockout threat, but I feel like the value is on the dog Straus in this one. I don’t think I can recommend a bet at +140 because it’s such a close fight, but if the line climbs higher on Straus back near the +235 opener, I’ll be pulling the trigger because of pure value alone.

Written by Adam Martin.

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