Both of these fighters are extremely close, skill wise, on the feet. Straus is maybe a bit more technical, seeing how he out-struck a very game Malegarie. He was especially successful with kicks and hooks while in close range. Kenny Foster was a bit less dominating standing up, however, he was facing a dangerous wrestler in Larkin and had to always be ready to defend the takedown. The only really troubling factor with Foster was his willingness to throw a very telegraphed looping left hand that got no where ever close to landing, and not checking any kicks. In addition, he can over extend himself at times with his jab. As such, Straus should have a slight advantage with his more technical striking game and use of leg kicks.
Edge: Daniel Straus
Daniel Straus is a big featherweight, and he proved he can lean well on anyone against the cage. However, he was caught in several tie-ups and took plenty of damage while doing that leaning. His opponent, Foster, really had no problem in the clinch with Larkin, and was able to separate from it at will.
This is where the fight will really be decided. On the one hand, we have Straus, who’s style is heavily dependent on a good takedown attack with heavy top-control to take decisions. He has slightly better than average takedown defense, and was taken down by Malegarie more than once.
On the other hand, we have Foster, a Division II All-American in college who was able to completely shutdown a very decorated Division I wrestling champion in Eric Larkin. He proved that he could knee Larkin coming in, and use his sprawl to prevent being put on his back. The one time that Larkin got Foster down, he immediately popped back up. Plus, he was able to take the decorated wrestler down himself.
This leads one to believe that Straus could have some serious problems against Foster if he tries to take him down. More than likely, Foster will be able to stuff the large majority of Straus’s takedown attempts, and put him on his back if he so decides.
Edge: Kenny Foster
Kenny Foster has proven than he is a very dangerous guy to roll with, especially when shooting on him, seeing as how he showed a textbook guillotine choke against Larkin. If a Division I wrestling standout can’t keep top control or even threaten Foster, it is hard to believe that Straus will be able to.
It should be noted that Straus is very hard to submit, and can explode out of comprimising positions at anytime. However, he also relies heavily on top-control, and in all likelihood, he won’t be able to get that consistently on Foster. This could lead to an interesting stalemate on the ground.
Paths to Victory
Daniel Straus is going to have a hard time implementing his normal game plan of using takedowns and top-control to score points and win the decision. Foster’s takedown defense should be able to neutralize such an approach. Instead, Straus should focus on beating Foster standing up. Foster took some hard kicks against Larkin and never checked any of them. Concentrating on beating up the legs of Foster over a round or two could pay significant dividends in neutralizing his TDD and lead to a possible GnP opportunity later in the fight. Other than that, Straus needs to avoid any powershots from Foster and let his more technical striking combinations land to score points while kicking the hell out of Foster’s legs.
Kenny Foster had an absolutely beautiful game plan against Larkin, and was able to completely dominate the fight. He is going to have to do something similar with Straus. That means using his TDD to stay off his back, and punishing Struas if he even attempts any takedowns. In addition, he needs to use his wrestling in an offensive capacity and put Straus on his back when ever possible. If he can do that, and not get over zealous with submission attempts (thus giving Straus the ability to explode into a scramble), he could score enough points for a decision.
Setting the Line
This fight could be very close. Foster has the wrestling advantage, but Straus should have the edge standing. This generates a line of Kenny Foster at -105 and Daniel Straus at +105.