Brandon Girtz will be facing Fernando Gonzalez in a few short weeks at Bellator 174, it will be the first time he has competed since dropping a fight to Adam Piccolotti at Bellator 165 last year.
Girtz has dealt with two separate ACL injuries and surgeries in the last 30 months, but he’s now healthy and ready to fight again.
“It’s been a tough couple years riddled with injuries,” Girtz told MMA Junkie. “I want to use the word ‘unlucky,’ but things happen for a reason. I’ve had two ACL surgeries in the last two-and-a-half years. Those will take some time off you. I don’t think I’m injury prone (as some have called me), just some bad stuff happened and I’ve been unlucky. Once I get on a roll, we saw what happened when I beat Melvin (Guillard) and I knocked out Derek (Campos). Once my confidence starts going, I’m going to be a very hard man to deal with. If I can stay healthy for longer than a year, things are going to be looking great for me.”
The Bellator MMA veteran has earned six wins in the promotion so far, with the most notable coming over Derek Campos and UFC veteran Melvin Guillard. Injuries aside, Girtz also feels like he has to have a strong mental game to get the win at Bellator 174.
“It’s not always the physical part, it’s the mental part,” Girtz said. “You see great athletes who don’t come back from injuries, and it’s not necessarily because of their body, it’s because they mentally couldn’t come back. That’s the biggest hurdle. My first ACL surgery was fairly easy for me. I’ve always been pretty mentally strong and say things happen for a reason. To get through that one was an easy one. The second one: I’m not going to lie, it was probably the first time in my life I started to get doubt. I didn’t know why it was happening.”
Bellator 174 takes place on Friday, March March 3 from the Winstar World Casino & Resort in Thackerville, Oklahoma with Marloes Coenen and Julia Budd headlining.