Bellator 181 Main Event – Catchweight (158lbs) Bout
Brandon Girtz and Derek Campos will meet for the third time at Bellator 181. Campos was originally scheduled to fight Patricky Freire for the second time, but the fight fell through as Freire was moved to Bellator 183 to take on Benson Henderson in the main event.
These two first met in 2013 when Derek Campos scored a unanimous decision victory against Girtz. They rematched at Bellator 146 in 2015 and Girtz made short work of Campos after knocking him out with a flurry of punches just 37 seconds into the fight.
Height: 5’7″ (170cm)
Reach: 67.0″ (170cm)
This is a huge fight for Brandon Girtz. After he defeated Derek Campos in astounding fashion in 2015, he managed to tear his ACL and required surgery. Unfortunately, it was to be the first of two times he would need ACL surgery. Since knocking out Campos, Girtz is riding a two-fight losing streak and is in need of a win to boost confidence in his body once again and continue to work his way to the top of the lightweight division.
Height: 5’9″ (176cm)
Reach: 68.0″ (173cm)
Derek Campos is on the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to recent form. After losing to Girtz in 2015, he has since gone on to win three consecutive fights. His last outing was a super impressive decision victory against Derek Anderson at Bellator 170 in what is one of the best fights of 2017 so far. Campos stayed in the pocket and threw bombs against Anderson, managing to do enough damage to score a 29-28 victory in the eyes of all three judges.
It won’t be a surprise if these two guys throw down in the centre of the Bellator cage again. Both Girtz and Campos come from wrestling backgrounds but have fallen in love with throwing fists. Despite this, some of their best work recently has come when they’ve taken an opponent to the ground and began to ground and pound.
Girtz scored the knockout victory last time they met, and it was purely on the back of explosive footwork. The intriguing part about this third matchup between the two is whether or not Girtz has the same explosiveness in his footwork after suffering two ACL injuries? Against Fernando Gonzalez, it looked as though he had fully recovered, but there may still be lingering mental concerns, especially if Campos tests it early.
Campos has been brilliant at standing inside his opponents range and trading shots. His effectiveness is largely based on excellent head movement but as we’ve seen time and time before; head movement comes at the price of standing flat-footed.
Expect one of these guys to go down early.
Prediction and Betting Strategy
Derek Campos has looked outstanding lately, so it’s hard to pick against him. I’ve got him finishing Brandon Girtz late in the first round to score some sweet revenge.
Brandon Girtz vs. Derek Campos III
Derek Campos to Win
Friday 14th July – 11:00 pm (ET) / 3:00am GMT
Odds: -163 – Ladbrokes