Will Brooks is a very confident fighter. The former Bellator lightweight champion won his previous match at PFL 2 a month ago by unanimous decision and is looking to secure a spot in the playoffs with a win at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum on Thursday.
Brooks comes from a wrestling background, but strives for a more well-rounded approach in his fights. He comes in with a good idea of what his opponent is capable of but ultimately fights in a loose style, adapting to his opponent on the fly. “When I first started fighting I was a freestyle guy,” Brooks said. “Watch a little bit of tape, come in with a game plan, but then get in there and just have fun and enjoy yourself.
“When I’m at my best I’m being an athlete and being explosive, and being dominating, and just going out there and fighting. Of course you come up with a small game plan but at the end of the day, this is a fight and guys change from fight to fight. Skills change from fight to fight, so you just got to be well-rounded.”
Brooks, in third place with three points, isn’t worried about his place in the PFL lightweight standings. When asked if he was trying to capture the No. 1 spot he said “No,” and he meant it. “You still have to fight and win. That’s MMA, period. That’s any competition. That’s anything you do in life.
“Thinking about what comes after doesn’t help you — you ain’t got it yet,” he continued. “You have to focus on winning. That’s my mindset with every single fight — win every five seconds, move on to the next five seconds — that’s how I approach everything. That’s how I continue to move forward.”
Brooks may not be hunting for the top spot in the standings, but he’ll find himself there if he takes care of business on Thursday. His next opponent, Robert Watley, sits atop the lightweight standings with five points after defeating Thiago Tavares on a questionable second-round stoppage. A win is worth three points, with bonus points awarded for finishes based on the round.
Brooks is more concerned with wins not points but still believes Watley didn’t deserve the extra stoppage points against Tavares.
“He kicked a guy and [the guy] couldn’t continue fighting. So there’s an asterisk next to those five points, but that’s not what I’m focused on right now.”
The points will come if Brooks gets what he wants.
“I’m coming out with a win — that’s it,” Brooks said. “However it comes, it comes, I’ll get it.”