Looking back on his win this past March over Saad Awad at Bellator 2019, lightweight Brandon Girtz is happy to have gotten the victory, but feels he could have done so in a much more decisive manner.

Initially Girtz felt like he could have finished the fight and was disappointed that he didn’t, but upon further reflection he’s pleased to have picked up the win.

“I’m not going to lie; I was pretty disappointed for a while after just given that I didn’t get the knockout,” Girtz told MMAWeekly.com. “I honestly really felt that was something that was going to come in that fight. Have almost put him away, definitely seeing his eyes rolling in the back of his head, I thought it was mine.

“After I sat down and was able to see what it was, it was a good fight; it proved that I was back after such a bad injury. It was a good accomplishment and it showed that I could go hard for three rounds.”

Having missed nearly a year prior to his victory over Awad due to injury, Girtz was able to come back without any hesitation having previously been through the same situation in the past and gotten over any apprehensions he would have had then.

“This is the third real big surgery I’ve had, and the first ACL surgery I had when I came back and fought Adam Piccolotti (in 2016) it was definitely a concern of mine,” said Girtz. “I went out there and wasn’t sure.

“I didn’t grapple much or do any of that (versus Piccolotti) because I was worried about it. It wasn’t until damn near the third round of that fight that I knew it was fine. After that injury I really learned that you can’t really affect you, so this last time against Awad it wasn’t in my mind whatsoever.”

On Friday in Dublin, Ireland, Girtz (16-8) will look to pick up his second win in a row when he faces Jon Tuck (10-5) in a 155-pound main card bout at Bellator 227.

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“I kind of look at (Tuck) like Awad, maybe with a little less reach,” Girtz said. “But I feel like I just went through one of these guys; a guy that’s tough, a guy that’s hard to put away, but a guy that I definitely feel my skills and abilities are definitely above.

“I see that he’s never been finished, and when I saw that it kind of got me excited because I want to be the first to put him away. That’s a big thing going into this fight is that I’m looking to put him away.”

Having missed so much time over the past couple years due to injuries and waiting for fights, Girtz has his mind set on competing one more time before the close of 2019.

“I 100-percent want another before the end of this year,” said Girtz. “I have a goal of fighting three or four times a year, and this is only my second fight. After I have a great performance on September 27 I’m going to ask to be put in there as soon as possible.”