Will Brooks Feels he’s Got his Rhythm Heading into PFL Postseason

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Will Brooks is back to feeling like his old self with the Professional Fighters League. The lightweight went 2-0 in the PFL regular season, punctuated by a decisive win over Robert Watley at PFL 5 on Thursday.

Brooks was able to use a multi-layered attack to keep Watley flustered throughout 15 minutes. He used his Taekwondo stance in the stand-up, and then went for the clinch and his wrestling to keep Watley guessing as to what was coming next. The result was a 30-27 x3 unanimous decision for Brooks.

“I switched up my stance and my technique a little bit,” Brooks told the media after his win. “I used a little bit more of a Taekwondo stance. A little bit more bounce in my movement. When you do that, it tends to make guys a little more defensive. So there’s a lot of space between us, so it was very hard to be a little bit more offensive with my striking, which I wanted to do. But at the end of the day, I got the job done.”

Back in his rhythm

Brooks will likely return on the PFL 9 card on October 13, where the lightweight quarterfinals and semifinals will take place on the same night. He’s excited to potentially compete twice in one night.

“I love that idea. I love it,” he said. “You have to keep your body going. Being able to fight twice in one night works out for me because I also have a wrestling background. I was able to wrestle 4-5 times in one day on Saturdays and sometimes you wrestle on a Friday and turn around and wrestle in a tournament on Saturday. All of that stuff is right in my wheelhouse. I’m very, very comfortable.”

That plays into Brooks’ perceived strength of getting into a rhythm. He compared that to when NBA players get hot.

“You have a lot of guys in the NBA who just catch and shoot, catch and shoot, and they just get into a rhythm where they can’t miss a three, like Steph Curry,” Brooks said. “Once he gets into a rhythm, he’s hitting every shot way from half-court almost and I think I’m similar to that.

“I keep that mindset when I come into fighting. You catch a win, you catch a rhythm, you get your feet underneath you. You take that back into the gym and keep that going. I’m a rhythm type of guy and I’ve got my rhythm, I got my feet underneath me, I’m getting back to winning, and I’m comfortable in the new skin I’m in.”

Transition to the PFL

Brooks wasn’t able to find that rhythm when he was in the UFC, dropping three straight during a 1-3 run with the promotion. He entered on the back of being the Bellator lightweight champion with wins over the likes of Michael Chandler (twice), Marcin Held and Saad Awad. During his stay with Bellator, he also won a lightweight tournament, so his transition to the PFL has been seamless in that aspect. It’s helped Brooks get back to his familiarity of winning.

“My transition to the PFL has been great,” he said. “And that’s because of what they’ve done for me. They’ve done a great job of welcoming me in and giving me the opportunity to get out here and perform and get back to winning. I’m just happy to be here. So I’m going to continue to do the best I can possibly do to be a professional for the PFL and represent them the best I possibly can. Any other organization that I don’t compete for, I don’t worry about.”

Now, Brooks is worried about winning the million dollars that will come with the PFL lightweight crown. He must win three more fights to do so; two in October and one in the tournament finals held on December 31. Brooks will try to use his momentum, comfort in tournaments and motivation to win for his family to bring home the big bucks.

“Winning the million dollars would benefit my family a great deal,” he said. “We’re doing well financially, but a million dollars changes everybody’s lives.”

When asked what he’d spend his potential million on, Brooks laughed and said he’d buy more t-shirts and jeans at Target.

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Michael is a big MMA fan who enjoys interviewing the sport's athletes, writing about the sport, and just discussing it. He earned his Master's in Journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and his B.A. in Journalism at Stony Brook University. He also enjoys hockey, football and baseball. Feel free to hit him up if you want to discuss MMA, or any other sport!

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