Bellator 239: “Ruth vs. Amasov” takes place this weekend (Fri., Feb. 21, 2020) at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla. on Paramount Network and DAZN. Homegrown Welterweight star Ed Ruth (8-1) takes on undefeated Ukrainian Yaroslav Amosov (22-0) in the main event of the evening.
Also set for the main card is a Lightweight contest pitting Brandon Girtz (16-8) against former UFC standout Myles “Fury” Jury (17-5). Changing promotions gave Jury the chance to prove he was once again a title contender, but he lost three straight rounds to Benson Henderson and took his third loss in a row in the process.
Girtz comes in having defeated promotional staple Saad Awad by decision in his last fight, but that may or may not be helpful facing a man who has beaten Takanori Gomi, Michael Johnson and Diego Sanchez just to name a few. Taking Jury for granted because he’s on a losing streak would be a foolish mistake, and Girtz is no fool.
Today Brandon Girtz talks to MMA Mania about taking advantage of the opportunity in front of him against Myles Jury and how pumped he is heading into Friday night.
“Aw man I’m feeling great about it! Man this is the fight I wanted, so I’m excited (and) just getting through the week and you know getting ready to get there.”
Despite the unimpressive promotional debut Jury had at Bellator 227, Girtz says the match couldn’t have gone any other way based on their respective skill sets.
“You know we’ve heard it before, ‘styles make match-ups’, and those two styles — you put two people together like that and that’s kind of what you get. Ben Henderson and Myles Jury are both great fighters but they’re fighters that need someone to come at them that make the fight happen. They’re kind of point fighters in a way, you know? And if you’ve got two of those guys out there that are looking for the perfect shot, it’s not going to come.”
By his own definition that’s not the style of fighting Girtz wants to have.
“I can’t play that type of game, that’s not my game. If I sit out on the outside and look for the perfect shot, it may never happen. I fought like that a long time ago and I learned a long time ago that’s not the type of fighter I am. I like to go in there, I like to make the action happen, (and) in that chaos is where I succeed.”
If you need any evidence of that check out his highlights from Bellator 219.
“Absolutely man. I’m gonna push forward, I’m gonna make the fight happen. I’m not gonna sit on the outside, I’m not gonna play pitter-patter. I’m in there when I step in there I’m in there to make it a fight and that’s just my style.”
After nearly a decade of putting on these kind of fights in Bellator, how does Girtz feel about his current standing in the promotion?
“It’s been quite a long time and you know I’ve seen it grow. I’ve seen my division grow, Bellator as a whole grow, and I’ve been working towards the top the whole time I’ve been here. I’ve only been fighting the top guys in my division all the time when I step in there. It’s just a great place to be now and I think we’re just going to continuously see Bellator grow and as MMA people that’s a great thing.”
Girtz has some complaints though. He’s clearly not a fan of the “champ-champ” trend and used Douglas Lima vs. Gegard Mousasi as an example.
“That’s a thing that kind of sucks. I was just going over this with one of my buddies about Lima getting the title shot at 185. If he wins it there’s another division that’s being held up. And it’s not to say that I don’t think Lima is a fricking beast — he can win that title. But we’ve got all these people going for double champ these days, and it ties up ALL the divisions. That’s going to be another division tied up when you have a 170 pound division with a bunch of killers that have to wait now.”
Furthermore he finds it frustrating that the Lightweight division is on hold while Patricio Freire is in the Featherweight Grand Prix.
“It’s the same thing at (1)55, because now I have to sit there and wait for Patricio to get done with this tournament, you know? He goes on, I think he’s gonna win his next fight, and then what are we going to see? A 155 pound championship (fight) in a year? And that’s what it looks like right now. My hope is for me and for the rest of the division is that we put together a tournament and the winner fights Patricio at the end. I think that’s the only way to really keep the division moving.”
Could “Pitbull” fight in both tournaments at the same time? Girtz says that’s unlikely.
“What do we expect? Do we expect him to fight fucking six times in the next year and a half, you know? That’s unbelievable. He’s a monster, and I don’t agree that he couldn’t do it, but do we expect this dude just to fight that many times in the next year and half, two years?”
Regardless of how long Girtz and the division will have to wait for Freire, he plans to come in at peak physical shape against Myles Jury and prove that he’s worthy.
“I started in the old school habits where you went live four days, five days a week and you threw everything in it, and you can see how I fight that’s how I trained. That’s something you can’t continuously do throughout your whole career. With injuries that I’ve had come from training, I’ve had to learn from that. I’ve been able to scale back the straight live training every day and do more situational things that’s less likely to get (me) hurt so I can make it to the cage.”
A wiser and more veteran Girtz who can still bring the same ferocity to the cage will definitely be a tough test for Myles Jury in Thackerville.
Complete audio of our interview is embedded above, and complete coverage of “Ruth vs. Amosov” resides here at MMA Mania all week long.