With a win on Friday at Bellator 197 against the always dangerous Michael Chandler, Brandon Girtz could cut the line in the 155lb title picture.
Brandon Girtz is the man who stepped up to face Michael Chandler at Bellator 197 on short notice. That’s no small order. Yet when lightweight champion Brent Primus pulled out, Michael Chandler needed an opponent. And Girtz was more than happy to step up. Ahead of Friday night’s big fight, he spoke to the media about where that gets him, and gave his thoughts on his new opponent.
“A win here puts me right there in title contention,” he said of the chance to face Chandler, a former Bellator lightweight champion, on short notice. With Primus yet to defend his title, that could very well be true. The lightweight division is up in the air at the moment. Benson Henderson finally got himself back on track recently, defeating Roger Huerta earlier this month. Chandler, of course, is next in line — but if you beat the man, you become the man.
Speaking of Michael Chandler, Girtz sees a kindred spirit in his opponent.
“Chandler is an explosive fighter,” he said. “I look at us as one and the same and I always have. I’ve admired his style because I look at us as one and the same.” As for what problems his foe might pose on St. Charles on Friday, “the challenge is, he’s going to bring the fight, and I love that. I love fighting someone that wants to come forward and fight me.”
He’s also more than happy to answer critics who think he’s being set up to lose. “I feed off of that. I feed off that energy. I feed off of showing people wrong.”
Catch Brandon Gritz in the main event of Bellator 197, live from St. Charles, MO at the Family Arena on Friday, April 13. The main card airs live on the Paramount Network.