The upcoming Bellator 131 on Saturday must seem like déjà vu for interim lightweight champion “Ill” Will Brooks. For the second time in a row, Brooks will be facing former titleholder Michael Chandler for a version of Bellator’s 155-pound title, this time being the undisputed version.
For Brooks, facing Chandler for a second consecutive event, things ended up playing out as he’d expected them to eventually.
“I figured if (previous champion) Eddie Alvarez was going to stick around in Bellator, I’d get to fight him, but just in case he moved on to something else with his career – and that’s what he chose to do – that this would be the next thing up,” Brooks told MMAWeekly.com.
“My plan was to always fight Eddie then turn around and have the rematch with Chandler, so I’m not surprised by it or caught off guard by it at all.”
While Brooks figured he’d face Chandler again sometime, he hopes this time will be the last.
“I’m definitely going out there to try to put the finishing touch on this thing and get it done,” said Brooks. “I’m not a huge fan of doing a bunch of rematches.
“My job is to go out there and just finish it and not leave any more questions about anything or who won the fight or anything like that.”
After winning the previous fight with Chandler (12-2) in May via a split decision, Brooks (14-1) made some changes for the Nov. 15 fight in San Diego, but he hasn’t overhauled his game plan.
“I think once you start trying to change things in a drastic manor, you over-think things and try to do too much to go outside your comfort zone and get out of yourself,” said Brooks.
“I did a lot of things in this last fight that worked very well for me, but there were also some small things here and there that we needed to make adjustments on and polish up, which is what we did this camp.”
While finally being able to put Chandler in his rear view mirror and lay claim to the undisputed Bellator lightweight championship is important to Brooks, he feels there is still more to accomplish as he continues to move forward in his career.
“I don’t approach this thing as a goals situation,” said Brooks. “I don’t set goals when I go out there and do what I do. I do this to get better as a person and as a fighter.
“My entire life and as a competitor, belts and titles and things like that are just consolations that just come along with it. I genuinely love and do this because I enjoy competing. My desire and drive to always compete at something will always be there.”
(Photo courtesy of Bellator)