“On behalf of myself, the UFC, congratulations, you are the Ultimate Fighter.”
Those are the words – spoken by UFC president Dana White – that every fighter that made it onto “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series wants to hear. But they are the words that only one fighter gets to hear when all is said and done.
Jonathan Brookins was that fighter at Saturday night’s “The Ultimate Fighter Season 12” finale in Las Vegas.
The way the opening round played out, it didn’t seem that would be the case. Michael Johnson took the fight to his friend early, rocking him with punches, dropping him to the mat, and mauling him on the floor. Brookins got back up, but Johnson didn’t relent.
He immediately continued his assault, driving numerous knees to Brookins’ face, but the shaggy-haired fighter survived the round.
“I was stunned,” Brookins said of the first round. “Typical Michael Johnson, just beating up on people.”
From round two on, however, it was all Brookins. He quickly took Johnson to the canvas, methodically working his ground and pound attack. Brookins took a dominant position on top of Johnson and dropped several heavy elbows down on his head, but couldn’t stop him from regaining his feet.
Brookins went after a single-leg takedown and lifted Johnson up high, slamming him back down to the mat, but still could not finish.
Round three was much of the same, Brookins continuously putting Johnson on the canvas and grounding and pounding him.
“(Johnson) is the best athlete, hands down, in the house man,” Brookins said after the fight, heaping praise on his friend. But it is Brookins that will take the honor of winning the show with him as he strives to move further in his career.
“My career still has a lot to improve on. I just want to invite everyone to come along for the ride with me.”