Bellator 184 took place Friday night live from the Winstar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma. In the evening’s co-main event, former featherweight champ Daniel Mason-Straus returned for the first time since losing his featherweight title this past April to Patricio Pitbull. In his first fight back, he’d be taking on the surging Mexican-American Emmanuel Sanchez.
Sanchez, fighting out of Roufusport, was looking to add a sizeable scalp to his collection, while Daniel Straus needed to rack up some wins to get back in title contention.
With Straus opening the action with a leg kick, it didn’t take long for the two featherweights to get going. Straus looked for a takedown early, and barely managed to avoid Sanchez stepping over and getting his back. At the end of the sequence, Straus found himself in side control, while Sanchez walked the fence to get back to his feet. Sanchez, bloodied, then locked in a knee bar that looked nasty. Straus preserved and escaped, with the fighters ending up in a north-south position. Straus would attempt a D’arce choke, transitioned to a north-south choke, but Sanchez would make his way free of the hold. What he could not do was get Straus off of him; the former champ began landing elbows from the top to soften his opponent up. Moments later, however, Sanchez would transition to the back and look for a rear-naked choke, but was unable to get under the chin of Straus. He’d end the round dropping bombs on the former title holder. What a round!
Moving to the second, Sanchez looked for a high kick early. Straus opted to move for a takeown, but went too low, allowing Sanchez to take the back. Sanchez, however, proved to be too high up ultimately, and was thrown off; Straus then managed to get on top in half guard. After eating a bit of damage Sanchez was able to reverse and get on top, working in some elbows of his own. Straus answered with some elbows from the bottom, and the two stayed extremely active on the mat. Posturing up, Sanchez started to land a little more damage as Straus covered up. Shots were beginning to sneak through, but Straus survived the round.
Daniel Mason-Straus came out firing in the third and final round, then quickly secured a takedown. Emmanuel Sanchez, however, quickly worked back up. Straus then dragged them down and the pair were in essence upside down along the fence with Straus having the back. Sanchez soon managed to lock in a triangle, and while Straus held on briefly, it was tight, and Straus was forced to submit!
Emmanuel Sanchez def. Daniel Straus by submission (triangle), Round 3, 1:56