Bellator 136: Saad Awad Weighs-In on Will Brooks-Dave Jansen, Outlines Why “The Fugitive” Could Give Champ a “Hard Time”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Heading into Bellator 136, and the lightweight fight between Dave Jansen and the champion Will Brooks, the consensus seems to be that the latter will still be holding the belt, come April 11th. But, if you ask the only man who has defeated Brooks to date, the champ has a stiff test ahead of him.
In a recent episode of Full Contact Fighter Radio, Saad Awad was asked to weigh-in on the upcoming Brooks-Jansen fight, which will headline Bellator’s April 10th event. Awad knocked Brooks out when the two met in February, 2013, but the heavy handed, lightweight was decisioned by the latter later that year.
“You know what? Brooks knows how to win. Obviously, he beat me, and without the loss that I gave him, he hasn’t lost to anybody else,” said Awad, who is booked to fight Rob Sinclair at Bellator 136. “He just knows how to win, whether you’re a jiu-jitsu guy, you’re a stand-up guy, or you’re a wrestler, as in (Michael) Chandler. He knows how to win. So he’s a smart fighter and he’s strong.”
Since Brooks avenged his loss to Awad, the American Top Team fighter has gone on to defeat the dangerous Alex Sarnavskiy and the former champ Chandler. Brooks worked his way to a tightly contested, split decision win over Chandler last May, but in their second encounter this past November, he stopped the lightweight in round four.
Jansen, meanwhile, initially locked up a title shot back in March, 2013, by decisioning Marcin Held. The veteran injured his knee not long after, however, and was sidelined for over a year. “The Fugitive” returned to action this past October, and secured a bout with Brooks, by decisioning Rick Hawn.
“But Jansen, Jansen’s a gangster. If he goes back to the way he fought, I think in the WEC, when he didn’t really care and he just went out and scrapped, scrapped, I think he’s going to give Brooks a hard time where he’s scrapping and going to his wrestling, scrapping and going to his wrestling, so I couldn’t tell you. I couldn’t tell you.”
“Brooks is a freak athlete and Jansen, you know, he’s been around for a long time,” furthered Awad. “So he knows what he’s doing.”
As Awad alluded to, Jansen has drawn praise over the years for his toughness and grappling skills, but against Hawn, he showcased a sharpened and more diverse striking game.
“Ya. I was too,” said Awad, when asked if he was impressed by Jansen’s stand-up at Bellator 130. “I like him. I’m not going to say I’m a fan of him, because I’m not a fan of anybody in my weight class in Bellator, but I like his style. I like his style of fighting. I tune in to watch every time he fights.”
Bellator 136 will be hosted by the Bren Events Center in Irvine, California, and the main card will be broadcast on SPIKE.
You can read Awads’ thoughts on Sinclair, as well as the possibility of facing Brooks for a third time, by heading here.