Bellator 136: Dave Jansen Says he Holds a “Variety of Edges” Over Will Brooks, Particularly “True Grit”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Although Dave Jansen hasn’t lost a bout since 2010, and has won all seven of his Bellator fights to date, “The Fugitive” will be a sizeable underdog when he battles Will Brooks, Friday.
Jansen is set to face the lightweight champion at Bellator 136, and some of the betting lines have Brooks as -700 favourite to win the scrap. While that fact could throw some fighters for a loop, Jansen has been in this position before.
“I imagine they are,” Jansen said on a recent episode of Full Contact Fighter Radio, when asked if some observers may be looking past him. “They overlooked me against (Rick) Hawn for whatever reason. I’m used to being the underdog and it doesn’t bother me one bit. It just shows me that the oddsmakers aren’t on their games….”
While Jansen has worked his way to the top of Bellator’s lightweight division in recent years, and is coming off an impressive win over Hawn, Brooks is widely regarded to be one of the promotion’s rising stars. The 28 year-old fighter has won six straight fights, and during that time he’s defeated established fighters like John Alessio, Saad Awad, “Tiger” Sarnavskiy, and former champ, Michael Chandler.
“I would understand why people would go for Will Brooks,” added the 35 year-old Jansen. “He’s looked really impressive, pretty ferocious, but I have a mental edge, and I’m going to exploit that.”
Brooks may not have a reputation for being a knockout artist, but the champion has drawn considerable praise for possessing a very well rounded and dynamic game.
“I beat him with the basics,” said Jansen, while discussing the keys to defeating Brooks. “That’s really what I’ve been up to the last three months and that’s going to show come April 10th. It’s basically about hurting him, making him extremely uncomfortable, and I think I have a variety of edges on Will Brooks, and one of them in particular is just true grit.”
“I also see a lot of insecurity in his behaviour, his mannerisms, tweets…I see an insecure fighter, and that reeks of fear,” furthered Jansen. “I’m going to exploit that. He’s very vocal on Twitter and he responds to trolls, so I think he’s not making the most efficient use of his energy. He’s trolled me a little bit on Twitter. It was funny. I feel like I handed him his ass. Left it alone after that.”
Bellator 136 will be hosted by the Bren Events Center in Irvine, California, and the main card will be broadcast on SPIKE.
Some of the other bouts scheduled for the event include Marcin Held vs. “Tiger” Sarnavskiy, Joe Schilling vs. Rafael Carvalho and Tony Johnson vs. Alexander Volkov.