Former Bellator featherweight champion Daniel Straus is slated to return to the cage for the first time since his dramatic title loss to Pat Curran, as he'll face season nine tournament finalist Justin Wilcox in the main event of Bellator 127, promotion officials announced on Friday.
Straus (22-5) upset Curran to steal away the Bellator featherweight title in late-2013 following a run through season six's tournament, but the 30-year-old's six-fight win streak soon met an abrupt end when he surrendered a fifth-round rear-naked choke to Curran with just 14 seconds remaining in the pair's electrifying March rematch.
Now he'll look to right his ship against Wilcox (14-6-1), a longtime Strikeforce veteran who most recently defeated Jason Fischer via unanimous decision.
"I'm ready to get back to work," Straus said in a statement. "I love to stay active, fight as much as I can, and now I have the opportunity to get back on the road to getting my title shot, and Justin is in the way of that goal. I've got to focus on myself and what I'm doing, but you better believe I'll have my eyes on Curran-Pitbull on September 5th as well."
Bellator 127 takes place on Friday, October 3rd at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, CA.
In addition to Straus-Wilcox, the Spike TV main card will also feature a previously reported bout pitting Karo Parisyan against Marius Zaromskis, as well as a middleweight clash between TUF 3 winner Kendall Grove (20-14, 1 NC) and former Bellator light heavyweight champion Christian M'Pumbu (18-6-1). That bout will serve as M'Pumbu's middleweight debut.