We spoke to Brandon Girtz roughly a week after a nasty shoulder injury led to Michael Chandler putting him away in the main event of Bellator 197.
Regrets, I have a few. Personal shortcoming aside, I actually have more than a few. In the sports world there are basically two schools of thought when it comes to regrets: either you do, or you don’t. Mixed martial arts as a sport is unique in several ways, and you hardly ever hear a fighter say he or she regrets anything (Jon Jones excluded).
So, when Brandon Girtz says he doesn’t have any second thoughts about taking the Michael Chandler fight at Bellator 197 on just three week’s notice, it should come as no surprise.
“Absolutely not,” Girtz said when asked if he had any regrets about taking the Chandler fight. “I felt great in there, I thought this was my time,” Girtz added.
In today’s MMA landscape, athletes like Al Iaquinta and Brandon Girtz are a dying breed: Fighters that will throw caution to the wind and let the chips fall where they may. Fighters who are really about that life, who will take a fight with a champion on little to no notice.
Girtz may have been an underdog according to the oddsmakers, but you couldn’t tell him that. “I felt great all week,” said Girtz. “Leading up to the fight, the warm up, in there I felt absolutely great, during the fight, I thought ‘I got this.’”
Chandler would go on to defeat Girtz in the first round via arm triangle at Bellator 197, but that would be the least of Girtz’ concerns. During Chandler’s takedown that set up the finishing sequence, Girtz would land awkwardly on his shoulder while attempting to post on his hand. The end result was a separated shoulder for Brandon Girtz.
“I had the whizzer and I posted right away, its wrestling,” Girtz said. “That’s what sucks, I’ve done this move so many times, a routine move off a body lock, I felt it right away. I went to push off it again, and I was like, yup, that arm is gone.”
“When I went down and finally felt it, I was like ‘no way, my shoulder gave.’ It sucked!”
Maybe it was more evident during the live broadcast on Paramount Network. Watching the fight live cage side, one could hardly tell that Girtz had suffered any kind of injury. Perhaps that’s a testament to how tough Girtz really is — after all he did continue fighting with a separated shoulder.
At present, it’s unclear what the extent of Girtz’s dislocated shoulder is. “The emergency room could only do an X-ray, it’s definitely separated,” explained Girtz.
Girtz subsequently visited a specialist regarding his shoulder, so hopefully he’ll have good news soon.