After defeating Ross Pearson via unanimous decision in his UFC debut, Will Brooks threw his head towards the canvas and smiled.
It appeared as though Will Brooks had all the necessary ingredients to be a big player in the UFC’s 155 lb division.
When he signed for the big leagues, he had a 17-1 professional record. The sole loss on his record at the time was to Saad Awad, a defeat that he successfully avenged. He was also the Bellator lightweight champion, an accolade he earned by defeating the great Michael Chandler – twice.
After beating Pearson, he leaned into Jon Anik’s mic and told the world, “This is just the beginning of my journey in the UFC.” Unfortunately for ‘Ill Will,’ it was just the beginning of the end.
Brooks would have been forgiven for pulling out of his next fight against Alex Oliveria. The Brazilian ‘Cowboy’ came in five-and-a-half pounds over the limit for their lightweight clash.
His reward for his toughness was a broken rib suffered in the first round followed by a nasty TKO loss in the third. Oliveira. The Brazilian had the audacity to taunt Brooks after the finish, prompting the frustrated and dazed fighter to fling his mouthpiece towards the victor.
When Charles Oliveira sunk in that standing rear-naked choke in his next trip to the Octagon, Brooks had a one-word response, “Fuck”.
For the first time in his career, Brooks was riding a two-fight losing streak. The pressure mounted as he headed into his next fight against Nik Lentz.