‘Ill’ Will Brooks made his Bellator debut last January in Mount Pleasant in a lightweight quarterfinal bout against Ricardo Tirloni. There was a lot of hype on him heading into the contest, and even more following his impressively dominant unanimous decision victory.
The hype on Brooks would quickly be derailed when he would be eliminated in the next round by Saad Awad. It wasn’t just the loss, it was the way Awad disposed of him. A 43-second KO defeat sent Brooks back to the drawing board and after a victory over Chris Leyva at Bellator 87 he’d get another chance at the toughest tournament in sports.
Brooks would run the gamut in the Bellator season 9 tournament (evening the score with Awad in the process) which would earn him a title shot against the winner of Bellator’s inaugural PPV headliner – Alvarez vs. Chandler III.
After suffering a concussion in training camp, Alvarez would be forced to withdraw from the highly anticipated throwdown with Chandler and Brooks would be promoted to co-main event status opposite Chandler.
No one gave Will Brooks against Michael Chandler in a fight that would earn the winner the interim lightweight championship of the world. Brooks closed as a +700 dog, and he won a lot of people a lot of money last night by besting Chandler via a razor thin split decision victory.
Check out the highlights below.
cover image credit – Esther Lin.MMAFighting