After picking up two straight victories in 2016, lightweight veteran Derek Campos was looking to keep his winning streak going entering his first fight of 2017 this past January against Derek Anderson at Bellator 170.
For the most part, Campos believes he put on a complete performance that made a statement to the other lightweight fighters in Bellator.
“I feel like with my performance I tried to show how well-rounded I am and showcase my overall toughness,” Campos told MMAWeekly.com. “I just wanted to go in there and finish him – and I almost finished him twice – but ultimately I felt like I gave a performance that let the rest of the weight class know that I am the real deal.”
Originally Campos was scheduled to fight Patricky “Pitbull” Freire in his next bout, but for the third time in the last two years, the fight ended up being scrapped.
“It is disappointing because it is a fight I would like to get back, but at the end of the day the promotion makes the best movies for the business, and I trust that,” said Campos. “I will take on anyone that they assign me to. That’s why I agreed to Kurt. I think it will be inevitable that Patricky and I will meet again.”
Campos (18-6) now takes on Brandon Girtz (14-6) in a catchweight main event of Bellator 181 in Thackerville, Oklahoma, on July 14 in a rematch of their bout from nearly two years ago.
“He’s coming off of two losses and just had ACL surgery,” Campos said of Girtz. “His back’s against the wall. I know what I know and what I need to go in there and do technically in this fight.
“I know the reasons I have for wanting to win this fight; to become a champion and put food on the table for my family; all these reasons that have been driving the fire within me during this winning streak. It’s just going to keep going.”
Knowing that Girtz has knee issues, Campos isn’t opposed to attacking that area, but also has his mind towards a complete destruction of his opponent on July 14.
“Whether it’s kicking that lead leg or it’s attacking (Girtz) to the body or hitting him in the chin and trying to put him to sleep – whatever presents itself I’m going to try to take advantage of,” said Campos. “Whether it’s my ground game or my hands, whatever I need to do to break his will.”
With his recent winning streak, Campos believes he could very well earn a title shot, or at least a match against someone who can procure him that bout.
“Ideally I go in there and take care of business against Kurtz, and what I envision after that is either getting the winner of Pitbull and (Benson) Henderson, and if not the winner of that, I would like (Adam) Piccolotti or Steve Kozola,” Campos said. “Those guys are undefeated and are the top ones in my mind that I can see myself facing and beating and getting a title shot (for doing so).”