Ahead of the upcoming Bellator 181 event, MMA Plus caught up with Brandon Girtz who will headline the night’s action against Derek Campos in what is the third time the two have met in their professional careers.

Girtz hasn’t enjoyed the most successful times as of late, suffering defeat in his last two fights to Fernando Gonzalez and Adam Piccolotti. He now faces a very familiar foe.

Campos’ last defeat came to Girtz when the Minnesotan knocked “The Stallion” out in just 37 seconds in November 2015. Girtz remains highly confident of beating the Texan again and insists all that it will be Campos feeling the strain come fight night.

“All the pressure is going to be on him. It’s easy to come over losses, but you can’t get over losses like that, when you’re knocked out in thirty seconds.”

The pair of fighters have won a fight a piece going into the trilogy fight with Campos recording the first victory via unanimous decision and Girtz claiming the second by way of knockout.

Girtz hasn’t had the smoothest of careers however… The American has suffered from several injuries throughout his career, with multiple ACL surgeries and Girtz revealed his frustration these injuries have caused him.

“It’s really hard, because when you have a knee injury, you can’t improve your skills. You’re doing your best to make your knee better but you can’t possibly make your knee better.”

Upon being asked if he was ever close to retiring, Brandon told a sad truth. “Yeah, you nailed it right there, the worst part of coming back from a knee injury is, mentally, its huge. After I had the second injury there was definitely a time where I was wondering why always me, it hurt a lot.”

Despite the setbacks and unfortunate circumstances, Girtz remains extremely confident he can reach the top one day and has insisted that the injuries are only a minor setback to his goals.

“You have to have something you’re actually fighting for. It has to be more than just picking up a pay cheque, there has to be a greater goal than just earning money. And when I recovered, I remembered why I started what I did.”

Ahead of their fight, Girtz insisted that no message was required for Campos as he knew he would have to prepare for war. He did however insist that a quick finish was the way he was looking to end the bout.

“I don’t feel I need minutes under my belt, all fighters want to get the quick finishes. Not only is it an easy victory, it makes your career longer, it looks more impressive.”

Girtz is very open in his eagerness to face the best that Bellator has to offer. Whilst he is keen to face any top-10 opponent, he does have one specific adversary in mind.

“I’m happy to face any top 10 opponent. Campos is currently top 5 so another top 10. I’d really like to fight Josh Thomson. I’ve had my eye on him for a long time, he’s been at the top of his game for years”