The former Bellator lightweight title holder is getting another shot in the UFC, this time against longtime veteran Nik “the Carny” Lentz.
When Will Brooks came to the UFC from Bellator it was with the expectation that he would insert himself into the top of the division in a hurry. He got off on the right foot, with a solid decision win over seasoned lightweight veteran Ross Pearson. But, just one year after that bout and he’s closer to fighting for his spot on the roster than he is the 155 strap.
Brooks took a KO loss to Alex Oliveira in October, only a few months after his debut win, a fight in which he also injured his rib. He then returned to fight Charles Oliveira in April of 2017, a bout he lost early in the first round, by submission, after giving up his back to the BJJ black belt.
Now sitting on two straight defeats, it’s do-or-die time for the former Bellator lightweight champ. MMAJunkie reports that Brooks has verbally committed to fight Nik Lentz at UFC 216, adding that Lentz has agreed to the bout as well. The UFC has yet to announce the fight to make it official.
Lentz is coming off a loss to Islam Makhachev, his first since moving back to lightweight at the end of 2015. Before that, “the Carny” put together a 4-2 record as a featherweight and a 5-2-1 (1 NC) record at 155 between 2009 and 2012. It promises to be a solid veteran matchup for Brooks, as Lentz is an aggressive wrestle grappler who typically starts fast, something Brooks has struggled with in both his UFC losses.
UFC 216 is expected to take place on October 7th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. A lightweight bout between Beneil Dariush and Evan Dunham has also been reported for the card, but no bookings have been announced by the UFC as of yet. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more news as the event approaches.