Will Brooks has signaled a new chapter in his fighting career with his recent win in the Titan FC 81 main event. The former UFC fighter and Bellator lightweight champion has now racked up five consecutive victories, the latest of which saw him defeat Jhonasky Sojo in a third-round submission. Brooks’ rear-naked choke stoppage was a dominant display of his fighting prowess, as the video highlights.
For the last few years, Brooks has been making a concerted effort to return to the UFC or other major promotions for one last push. Fans believed that his recent success in the Titan FC may have brought him one step closer to this goal, but in his post-fight interview, Brooks revealed a different path.
In a surprise to many, the 36-year-old announced his decision to retire from MMA during a heartfelt speech that drew a rousing applause from the audience. Speaking candidly, Brooks acknowledged that he believed God had sent a message to him that he should retire at this point in his life.
Brooks also stated that although he is “extremely stubborn,” he put every ounce of energy into the fight and still felt that it was time to walk away. This leaves some questions about what the future holds for Brooks, but as he walks away from the sport, he can be proud of his significant accomplishments.
If this is indeed the end of Brooks’ career, he will leave a lasting legacy with a record of 25-5-1, including an impressive run in Bellator that saw him take the lightweight title. Brooks also went unbeaten during his three appearances in the PFL and spent four fights in the UFC.
Arguably, his two victories over Michael Chandler during his Bellator tenure were among his most notable achievements, particularly his epic fourth-round finish at Bellator 131 in November 2014.
Brooks may be remembered as one of the greatest mysteries in mixed martial arts. While his skills and accomplishments are undeniable, there remained a sense that something was not quite right with his UFC run.
Nonetheless, as he moves on from the sport, Brooks can take pride in knowing that he gave his all and left an indelible mark on the sport he loved.