31-Year-Old UFC Lightweight 18-2-0
October 6, 2017 Will Brooks News
RotoWire Fantasy Analysis
Brooks will no longer face Nik Lentz at UFC 216 on Saturday, as Lentz was forced to withdraw due to "medical issues."
Brooks showed up Friday morning and made the 156-pound lightweight limit, but he won't get to fight on Saturday after all. It's a tough break for Brooks, who had been looking to bounce back from a two-fight losing streak. It's unclear whether or not this fight will be rescheduled at a later date.
Will Brooks: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
Fantasy AnalysisBrooks may have been victorious in his UFC debut, but the former Bellator Lightweight Champion has since sputtered, losing back-to-back fights. He'll look to get back on track with a matchup against the 32-year-old Lentz, a veteran that has been with the promotion since 2009. Win or lose, Brooks would still have a long road ahead of him to get to the top of the UFC's 155-pound division.
Fantasy AnalysisThe issue here isn't Brooks tapping out to an Oliveira RNC -- that would happen to most anyone on the planet. The issue is the fact he allowed Do Bronx to score an easy trip takedown that put him in that position. Brooks fired off a couple of quick kicks early on that landed, but he never was able to get into the flow of the fight. There are plenty of fighters from other organizations who come into the UFC and struggle, but there was no indication that Brooks would be one of them. He was a former lightweight champion in Bellator, and he entered the UFC with an undefeated record. He has since gone 1-2 and has lost back-to-back fights. Brooks' pedigree says that better days are ahead, but he better get his act together in a hurry.
Fantasy AnalysisBrooks hasn't been all that impressive in his first two UFC fights, but he is still one of the best lightweights in the world. His physical style of fighting works well against smaller opponents. Oliveira has spent the last few years at featherweight and that should definitely play to Brooks' advantage. -265 is a hefty line, but Brooks is talented enough to earn the heavy price tag.
Fantasy AnalysisBrooks reportedly sustained a rib injury early in the fight against Alex Oliveira before eventually succumbing to a third round knockout. Brooks, tallying just his second loss in 21 mixed martial arts fights, will require clearance from a physician before he's allowed to return to competitive action once again.
Fantasy AnalysisBrooks' quest to become the second fighter to hold both UFC and Bellator titles hit a major road bump. He struggled to implement his normal clinch and wrestling game against Oliveira. "Cowboy" missed weight badly and appeared to be the bigger fighter in the cage. Whenever Brooks landed takedowns, he struggled to hold his opponent down. Brooks appeared to suffer a rib injury towards the end of the second round. It certainly affected him in the third. Oliveira took him down and finished him with punches from the top. Brooks will need to rebound with a solid win to keep pace in the always crowded lightweight division.
Fantasy AnalysisLightweight is in parenthesis because Oliveira missed weight by 5.5 pounds on Friday. Brooks still agreed to accept the fight - stating that he would place the 20% of Oliveira's purse that he receives into his daughter's college fund. As a former Bellator Lightweight Champion and one of the most respected 155-pounders on the planet, Brooks deserved a better opponent than Oliveira, Granted, Brooks didn't look great in his first UFC fight against Ross Pearson in July, but he ultimately easily took a unanimous decision from Pearson. The UFC has a potential star on their hands in Brooks - they need to book him like one.
Fantasy AnalysisThe UFC has yet to confirm the headliner for this event, but this bout is arguably main-event material. Brooks only has one career loss (which he later avenged), and was dominant throughout his run as Bellator champion. He defeated Ross "The Real Deal" Pearson in his UFC debut July 8, and will now see a bit of a step up in competition against an efficient striker in Oliveira. The 29-year-old may not have turned many heads in his debut, but with the initial butterflies aside, Brooks should be ready for a war.
Fantasy AnalysisA win is a win, but Brooks looked a tad rusty in his UFC debut. Long considered to be one of the best fighters in the world not signed to the company, the former Bellator Lightweight Champion landed a pair of much needed, well-timed takedowns to secure Friday's victory. Ill Will spent far too much time up against the cage early in Round 3, but he managed to eat quite a few big shots from Pearson before regaining his composure. Hopefully Friday's sluggish effort doesn't diminish Brooks' status at all because he is clearly one of the best 155-pounders on the planet. At age-29 and with numerous big fights under his belt, there is no reason for the UFC brass to take things slowly with Brooks.
Fantasy AnalysisBrooks has fought for Bellator since January of 2013, posting a solid 9-1 record with the promotion. It was reported earlier this year that he would pursue free agency after his Bellator contract expired, and that report came to fruition with Wednesday's signing. The 29-year-old Brooks is a major acquisition for the promotion, and the American Top Team product will begin his quest for a lightweight strap against the unranked Pearson, who has fought with the UFC since 2009. He'll likely enter this bout as the favorite, and a victory could earn him an opportunity to face a ranked opponent.
Fantasy AnalysisBrooks claims his dream has always been to be a UFC lightweight champion, and after earning eight straight victories with Bellator, that dream now has a chance to become a reality. However, his contract doesn't technically expire until July 25, or after he has competed in two more fights (whichever comes first). Regardless of how Bellator decides to play out the majority of the committment, there's a seemingly good chance Brooks sees the octagon for a UFC lightweight match before the end of 2016. At just 29 years old, he should still have some prime fighting years ahead of him.
Fantasy AnalysisHeld had a strong first round in which he appeared close to clamping on several submissions, but Brooks dominated after that. Held just simply couldn't match the physical strength of the champion. Brooks stated later on Twitter that he popped his knee out and sprained his MCL during the fight, but he still cruised to the dominant victory. Brooks is a terrific fighter, but he is going up against guys that wouldn't sniff the top ten in the UFC. Brooks will probably never get the respect he deserves as long as he continues fighting for Bellator.
Fantasy AnalysisBrooks has come out of nowhere to turn himself into one of the better lightweights in the world. He's won seven fights in a row and he's going to be a substantial favorite in this fight against Held. It would be interesting to see how he would fare against better fighters in the UFC.