Having spent a year waiting to get back into the cage following a 51-second submission win over Chris Harris at LFA 72 in July of 2019, middleweight Daniel Madrid was looking to put on a solid performance in his first fight back versus Pat Casey at Bellator 246 on September 12.

While the fight may have been closer than he would have liked, Madrid came out of the bout against Casey with a split-decision victory, raising his current winning streak to five victories in a row in the process.

“I’m grateful that Bellator gave me a chance and I was able to showcase my striking on a bigger platform,” Madrid told MMAWeekly.com. “Pat Casey did not disappoint. He was just as strong as everything we researched. It was a really good fight. I’m blessed, thankful, and grateful.

“I’m a light year ahead of myself from last year. Obviously there’s always things I can improve on and change going forward. My coaches and I agreed it was a whole different Daniel from before.”

While at the time Madrid didn’t feel the fight warranted a split-decision, looking back now at it he can maybe see where the judges might have not seen it his way 100 percent.

“During the fight I thought I had done a lot more than when I watched it later on, but even watching it later on, I don’t see (what the judges did),” said Madrid. “I guess maybe they gave him the second round because my output was a little bit less than the first and third rounds were.

“(Judge) Dave Peabody gave him rounds two and three, and I don’t know how. That’s my fault for letting it get to the judges. I definitely could have jumped on a few more opportunities to put Pat away, but I just didn’t feel that was the appropriate thing to do.”

Having finally been able to fight after a year of waiting, Madrid feels his win over Casey was a freeing experience.

“It was like taking five boulders off of my back and then just being allowed to run in an open field. It was amazing,” Madrid said.

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“Normally before fights I get little jitters and then when I get into the cage everything just falls away, but I never had that with this fight. Literally from the time we found out about it up until the time (referee Dan) Miragliotta raised my hand, I relished every second of every moment. It was absolutely amazing.”

With how 2020 has gone not only for Madrid but the world as a whole, he sees it best to just take things as they come and not even try to predict what could be next for him.

“I’m taking it one second at a time,” said Madrid. “With this year there’s no point planning anything or trying to shoot for something. We’re going to stay diligent and stay ready.

“I’ve been in a fight camp since the beginning of February, so I want to spend some time with my wife and family then we’ll see what comes.”

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