|Born||Willie Love Brooks|
October 8, 1986 (age 33)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
|Other names||Ill Will, Thrill Will|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Weight||156 lb (71 kg; 11.1 st)|
|Reach||72 in (183 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Coconut Creek, Florida, United States|
|Team||American Top Team|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Willie Love Brooks (born October 8, 1986) is an American mixed martial artist who competed in the Lightweight division of the Professional Fighters League and Ultimate Fighting Championship. A professional competitor since 2011, he is the former Bellator Lightweight Champion and has also competed for DREAM.
Brooks took up wrestling at Warren Township High School, but his main focus was playing football. Excelling in football during high school, he ended up going to college to play at Harper College, in Palatine. At Harper, he met an old friend from high school in Nick Redding, who ended up changing the course of his life to MMA.
Brooks made his professional MMA debut in January 2011. He competed exclusively in his native Illinois and quickly amassed an undefeated record of 7-0 in the first two years of his career.
In late 2012, Brooks received the biggest opportunity of his career as he was invited to Japan by the DREAM organization. He faced experienced veteran Satoru Kitaoka at Dream 18 on December 31, 2012. Despite being a heavy underdog, Brooks dominated the fight and won via TKO in the second round.
For his debut, Brooks was entered into the Bellator Lightweight Tournament. He faced Ricardo Tirloni in the opening round at Bellator 87 and won the fight via unanimous decision. He faced Saad Awad in the semi-finals and lost via KO in the first round.
Following the first loss of his career, Brooks rebounded with a win over Cris Leyva at Bellator 97 on July 31, 2013.
In the fall of 2013, Brooks entered into the Bellator Season 9 Lightweight tournament. He faced veteran John Alessio in the Quarterfinals on September 27, 2103, at Bellator 101. He won the fight in dominant fashion via unanimous decision.
Brooks had a rematch with Saad Awad in the semifinal round and dominated the fight for all three rounds, winning a unanimous decision victory.
Brooks faced Alexander Sarnavskiy in the finals. He won the fight via dominant unanimous decision to earn a future title shot at the Lightweight title.
On May 17, 2014, Brooks faced Michael Chandler filling in for the injured champ Eddie Alvarez at Bellator 120 for the Interim Bellator Lightweight Championship. He won via split decision to become the Interim Bellator Lightweight Championship.
With Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez leaving the promotion, Brooks faced Michael Chandler in a rematch at Bellator 131 on November 15, 2014, for the vacant Bellator Lightweight Championship. He won the fight via TKO in the fourth round to become the undisputed Bellator Lightweight Champion.
Brooks made his second defense against Marcin Held on November 6, 2015, at Bellator 145. Despite Held popping Brooks' knee in the opening round, Brooks continued on and won the fight via unanimous decision to retain the Bellator Lightweight Championship.
On May 14, 2016, Brooks was granted his release from Bellator MMA, vacating his lightweight championship.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
On June 15, 2016, it was announced that Brooks had signed a six-fight deal with the UFC. He made his promotional debut against Ross Pearson on July 8, 2016, at The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale. Brooks won the fight by unanimous decision.
Brooks next faced Alex Oliveira on October 1, 2016, at UFC Fight Night 96. The bout took place at a catchweight of 161.5 lbs, as Oliveira missed weight. Brooks lost the fight via KO in the third round.
Brooks was scheduled to face Nik Lentz on October 7, 2017, at UFC 216. However the pairing was scrapped during the weigh-ins for the event, as Lentz was stricken with "medical issues" and deemed unfit to compete. The pairing with Lentz was rescheduled and eventually took take place on November 19, 2017 at UFC Fight Night 121. Brooks lost the fight via submission in the second round.
Professional Fighters League
On February 14, 2018, Brooks announced via social media that he had been released by the promotion and had signed with the Professional Fighters League. He also stated that he would be entering the promotion's one million dollar tournament.
In his second fight in the Lightweight tournament, Brooks faced Robert Watley on August 2, 2018, at PFL 5. He won the fight by unanimous decision.
In the end of January 2019, Brooks announced in social media that he became a free agent after the inaugural season of PFL.
Championships and accomplishments
- Bellator MMA
- Bellator Lightweight Championship (One time)
- One successful title defense
- Interim Bellator Lightweight Championship (One time)
- Bellator Season Nine Lightweight Tournament winner
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|26 matches||20 wins||5 losses|
|Loss||20–5–1||Gleison Tibau||Submission (guillotine choke)||Battlefield FC 2||July 27, 2019||1||3:34||Macau, SAR, China|
|Draw||20–4–1||Rashid Magomedov||Draw (unanimous)||PFL 9||October 13, 2018||2||5:00||Long Beach, California, United States||2018 PFL Lightweight Quarterfinal bout. Eliminated via first round tiebreaker.|
|Win||20–4||Robert Watley||Decision (unanimous)||PFL 5||August 2, 2018||3||5:00||Uniondale, New York, United States|
|Win||19–4||Luiz Firmino||Decision (unanimous)||PFL 2||June 21, 2018||3||5:00||Chicago, Illinois, United States|
|Loss||18–4||Nik Lentz||Submission (guillotine choke)||UFC Fight Night: Werdum vs. Tybura||November 19, 2017||2||2:05||Sydney, Australia|
|Loss||18–3||Charles Oliveira||Submission (standing rear-naked choke)||UFC 210||April 8, 2017||1||2:30||Buffalo, New York, United States|
|Loss||18–2||Alex Oliveira||TKO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: Lineker vs. Dodson||October 1, 2016||3||3:30||Portland, Oregon, United States||Catchweight (161.5 lbs) bout; Oliveira missed weight.|
|Win||18–1||Ross Pearson||Decision (unanimous)||The Ultimate Fighter: Team Joanna vs. Team Cl��udia Finale||July 8, 2016||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||17–1||Marcin Held||Decision (unanimous)||Bellator 145||November 6, 2015||5||5:00||St. Louis, Missouri, United States||Defended the Bellator Lightweight World Championship. Later vacated title.|
|Win||16–1||Dave Jansen||Decision (unanimous)||Bellator 136||April 10, 2015||5||5:00||Irvine, California, United States||Defended the Bellator Lightweight World Championship.|
|Win||15–1||Michael Chandler||TKO (punches)||Bellator 131||November 15, 2014||4||3:48||San Diego, California, United States||Won the vacant Bellator Lightweight World Championship.|
|Win||14–1||Michael Chandler||Decision (split)||Bellator 120||May 17, 2014||5||5:00||Southaven, Mississippi, United States||Won the interim Bellator Lightweight Championship.|
|Win||13–1||Alexander Sarnavskiy||Decision (unanimous)||Bellator 109||November 22, 2013||3||5:00||Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States||Bellator Season Nine Lightweight Tournament Final.|
|Win||12–1||Saad Awad||Decision (unanimous)||Bellator 105||October 25, 2013||3||5:00||Rio Rancho, New Mexico, United States||Bellator Season Nine Lightweight Tournament Semifinal.|
|Win||11–1||John Alessio||Decision (unanimous)||Bellator 101||September 27, 2013||3||5:00||Portland, Oregon, United States||Bellator Season Nine Lightweight Tournament Quarterfinal.|
|Win||10–1||Cris Leyva||TKO (punches)||Bellator 97||July 31, 2013||3||2:20||Rio Rancho, New Mexico, United States|
|Loss||9–1||Saad Awad||KO (punches)||Bellator 91||February 28, 2013||1||0:43||Rio Rancho, New Mexico, United States||Bellator Season Eight Lightweight Tournament Semifinal.|
|Win||9–0||Ricardo Tirloni||Decision (unanimous)||Bellator 87||January 31, 2013||3||5:00||Mount Pleasant, Michigan, United States||Bellator Season Eight Lightweight Tournament Quarterfinal.|
|Win||8–0||Satoru Kitaoka||TKO (punches)||DREAM 18||December 31, 2012||2||3:46||Saitama, Japan|
|Win||7–0||Drew Dober||Decision (unanimous)||Disorderly Conduct: The Yin & The Yang||August 10, 2012||3||5:00||Omaha, Nebraska, United States|
|Win||6–0||Tory Bogguess||TKO (punches)||XFO 44||June 16, 2012||1||4:20||Hoffman Estates, Illinois, United States|
|Win||5–0||Ryan Bixler||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Chicago Cagefighting Championship IV||October 15, 2011||2||1:00||Villa Park, Illinois, United States|
|Win||4–0||Joseph Richardson||Submission (armbar)||XFO 41||September 3, 2011||1||3:49||Island Lake, Illinois, United States|
|Win||3–0||Bobby Reardanz||Submission (armbar)||XFO 39||May 13, 2011||3||3:22||Hoffman Estates, Illinois, United States|
|Win||2–0||Guillermo Serment||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Chicago Cagefighting Championship III||March 5, 2011||2||0:45||Villa Park, Illinois, United States|
|Win||1–0||J.R. Hines||TKO (punches)||XFO 38||January 22, 2011||1||2:09||Woodstock, Illinois, United States|
- List of current PFL fighters
- List of Bellator MMA alumni
- List of current mixed martial arts champions
- List of male mixed martial artists
- "Will Brooks Bio". Bleacher Report. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
- "Karakhanyan-Takaya, Baroni-Sakurai, Brooks-Kitaoka booked for DREAM 18 card". mmajunkie.com. December 11, 2012.
- "Will Brooks signs with Bellator, first fight vs. Ricardo Tirloni". global-mma.com. January 10, 2013.
- "Will Brooks replaces Eddie Alvarez, faces Michael Chandler as Bellator 120 stays on PPV". mmafighting.com. May 10, 2014.
- "Bellator 120 Results: Will Brooks Spoils the Alvarez vs. Chandler Trilogy, Captures Interim Belt". mmaweekly.com. May 18, 2014.
- "Tito Ortiz-Stephan Bonnar, Will Brooks-Michael Chandler set for Nov. 15 Bellator". sherdog.com. September 5, 2014.
- "Will Brooks to defend Bellator's 155-pound title against Dave Jansen in April". mmafighting.com. February 4, 2015.
- "Bellator 145 Fight Card". bellator.com. 2015-11-06.
- John Morgan (2016-06-15). "Will Brooks signs with UFC, meets Ross Pearson at The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2016-06-15.
- Ben Fowlkes (2015-07-08). "TUF 23 Finale results: Ex-Bellator champ Will Brooks tops gritty Ross Pearson for win in UFC debut". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2016-07-08.
- Staff (2016-08-01). "Will Brooks vs. Alex Oliveira added to UFC Fight Night 96 in Portland". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
- Ben Fowlkes (2016-10-01). "UFC Fight Night 96 results: Alex Oliveira takes out, then taunts hobbled Will Brooks in third". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
- Tristen Critchfield (2017-02-11). "Will Brooks vs. Charles Oliveira added to UFC 210 lineup in Buffalo". sherdog.com. Retrieved 2017-02-11.
- Steven Marrocco (2017-04-08). "UFC 210 results: Charles Oliveira finishes Will Brooks with standing rear-naked choke". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2017-04-08.
- Steven Marrocco (2017-07-23). "Nik Lentz, Will Brooks agree to fight each other at UFC 216 in Las Vegas". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2017-07-23.
- Staff (2017-10-06). "UFC 216 loses a featured prelim on eve of event". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2017-10-06.
- Steven Marrocco (2017-10-16). "Will Brooks vs. Nik Lentz targeted for UFC Fight Night 121". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2017-10-16.
- "UFC Fight Night 121 results: Nik Lentz chokes out 5-1 favorite, ex-teammate Will Brooks". MMAjunkie. 2017-11-19. Retrieved 2017-11-19.
- "Will Brooks announces he was cut by the UFC, is entering PFL's $1 million tournament". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2018-02-15.
- Jed Meshew (January 31, 2019). "Morning Report: Daniel Cormier discusses being ranked ahead of Jon Jones, possibly putting off retirement". mmafighting.com.
- Cole Shelton (July 5, 2019). "Gleison Tibau to Fight Will Brooks in New Main Event of Battlefield FC 2". sherdog.com.