Bellator’s Will Brooks: “I Want my Fight With Eddie Alvarez. That’s the Fight That I Earned”
By Kelsey Mowatt
While these are interesting times in the flourishing career of Will Brooks, it remains to be seen when and who Bellator’s interim lightweight champ will fight next. Not only does the promotion have to decide whether Brooks will square off with its reigning champ Eddie Alvarez in the coming weeks, Bellator will do so with the guidance of its new president, Scott Coker.
“Personally I’d like to fight ASAP,” Brooks said on Full Contact Fighter Radio recently, who laid claim to Bellator’s interim belt on May 17th, by scoring a split decision win over Michael Chandler. “As soon as possible if that could work…I’m a workhorse; I don’t like sitting around too long, I like being able to keep a good rhythm going, keep a good pace going, and after fighting Chandler I had a bunch of energy still. I didn’t take any damage. I didn’t take any injuries.”
“I want my fight against Eddie Alvarez. That’s the fight that I earned,” the 27 year-old furthered. “I’m going to make sure that I keep pushing for that, keeps the fans interested in that, and keep the media outlets putting that out there, and let people know that I deserve that fight. I’m waiting for someone to tell me when to go.”
At first glance, one would conclude that a bout between Brooks and Alvarez is a given, since typically interim title holders are matched up with the reigning champ when they return to action. This case, however, is rather different, as Alvarez reportedly has the contractual right to request a third bout with Chandler.
Where things have gotten even more interesting in recent months, however, is that Alvarez has publicly stated that he believes Brooks should fight for the title next. The champion has also claimed that Bellator has been pushing for a rubber match between himself and Chandler. That was before Bjorn Rebney stepped down as CEO, however, and Coker was name president.
“I wasn’t surprised at all,” said Brooks, while discussing Alvarez’s belief that the interim champ should fight for the title next. “I don’t know Eddie on a personal level but I’ve seen him, I’ve watched him, and as a fan of the sport, and just watched the way he carries himself, he seems like a stand-up type of guy. He’s not really one of these guys who is trying to pick his fights and do things like that, so to see him step up and say ‘hey, you know what? Will Brooks won that fight and I’ll take that fight’, for him to say that didn’t surprise me.”
Alvarez versus Chandler III was originally booked for Bellator’s inaugural pay-per-view event on May 17th, however, Alvarez was forced to withdraw due to injury. Since their first two encounters were instant classics, there was considerable hype tied to the rubber match. As a result of Brooks’ tightly contested victory at Bellator 120, however, the promotion now has a big decision to make.
“Maybe I feel like he does have an ego at the same time, and I think that at the same time, he was trying to be a man about it…I think he’s honestly thinking that he’s going to get in there and walk right through me if he fights me,” Brooks added about Alvarez. “So it doesn’t surprise me that he’s like ‘yeah, I’ll fight Will Brooks’, not just because he’s trying to be a stand-up guy, and just take the fight because it’s the right thing to do, but because in his mind he does really believe that he could just beat me easily. So, I’m not surprised that he came out and said it.”
Bellator’s next event will go down July 25th, in Temecula, California, and will feature Brett Cooper taking on Brandon Halsey in a middleweight tourney final, and Andrey Koreshkov versus Adam McDonough in a welterweight final.