Will Brooks says he knew from the jump that he wasn’t actually going to fight Nik Lentz at UFC 216.
“I knew coming in that Nik Lentz wasn’t going to show up,” Brooks said on Periscope on Friday.
The former training partners at American Top Team were supposed to meet Saturday night at UFC 216 in something of a grudge match after the two tore into one another over social media.
But Lentz didn’t make it to the weigh-ins on Friday, as the UFC announced in the morning he had pulled out of the fight, which left Brooks, who successfully weighed in at 156 pounds, without a dance partner.
With time on his hands Friday, the former Bellator champion went on the warpath during a fired-up 12 minute stream in which he blasted both Lentz and others at 155 pounds whom he believes are more talk than action.
“Nik Lentz knew he didn’t wasn’t going to make this fight,” Brooks said. “He didn’t want this fight. He didn’t want this fight from the jump. Someone convinced him this was an opportunity for him to come at me and take this fight because he thought I was in a mentally bad place after losing two in a row. I know someone. All of a sudden when he saw me here, when he saw how focused I was during my training camp, I wasn’t talking or nothing, just showing up to the gym and doing my thing, when he recognized that, that’s when you saw Nik Lentz focusing more on politics. Stepping away from the fight and not talking about the fighting.
“He ran his mouth a lot” Brooks continued. “But he realized that there was real work to be done, that Will Brooks was coming back to life and he was going to be the sacrificial lamb and Ill Will Brooks was going to come back to life and i was going to put him up on my f*cking trophy mount and let everybody see what I did to him, let the lightweight division see what I did to him, and he saw it and he felt it and he typically like he always does. I’ve spent plenty of time with that person and I know what he’s made of.”
Brooks, who acknowledges his 1-2 UFC record since jumping over from Bellator doesn’t exactly put him in position for a title shot at the moment, also had words for UFC 216 headliner Kevin Lee, who needed two attempts to make weight before his UFC interim lightweight title fight with Tony Ferguson became official.
“You saw today with Kevin Lee who shows up to a title fight and can’t make his weight,” Brooks said. “Totally unprofessional. This is why I will always be confident, even being 1-2 in the lightweight division. I’m okay with that because these fools will continue to keep that window open for guys to step up and take that opportunity and come in and take those opportunities because they don’t want to make the weight. They can’t make the weight. They can’t show up and be professional they take the extra hour and a half or whatever you need to make the weight when you run your mouth and talk so much, you talk about how great you are.”
And Brooks also had something for Khabib Nurmagomedov, who has his own documented history of weight issues and fight fallouts.
“Khabib, for example, who shows up, can’t get it done, misses weight, hurts himself making weight,” Brooks said. “Listen, you don’t hurt yourself making weight if you put the time in, if you take responsibility for what you do and you’re professional.”
At the end of the day, Brooks makes it to his fights, win or lose, and he is using the ongoing drama in the lightweight division as his fuel to return to championship form.
“Mark my words, I will be lightweight champion of the UFC,” Brooks said. “Record it, put it on paper, whatever you have to say. I will be champion.”