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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

No Holds Barred: Will Brooks On His Nov. 15 Bellator Title Fight 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with American Top Team fighter and Bellator MMA interim lightweight champion Will Brooks.

His next fight will be featured on the Bellator 131 card on Saturday, November 15, from the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California. There he will fight for the vacant Bellator lightweight title against former champion Michael Chandler. These two first met on May 17 of this year, with Will Brooks winning a five-round split decision in a close and thrilling fight to capture the interim belt.

Bellator 131 will air in the U.S. live and for free this Saturday night on Spike TV, and on Sunday, November 16, in the U.K. on Viacom's 5*.

We spoke with Will Brooks by phone Monday.

"I think everybody can expect a high level of skillsets," he said of this rematch. "In the last fight, I think I did a good job, showed everybody that I was evolving as a fighter. There were a couple of things I didn't do as well as I wanted to do, especially because there were a lot of skills I was just learning, just working on. But this fight I think people can expect a cleaner, sharper performance on my part coming out of the gate."

He said he would be "getting back to the basics and coming right out the first round, the first bell, and putting on a display of striking that people haven't seen."

We discussed the rapid trajectory of his MMA career, including his upset TKO victory over Japanese submission master and former Sengoku lightweight champion Satoru Kitaoka on the Dream 18 New Year's Eve card in Saitama, Japan, on December 31, 2012; his first-round knockout loss to Saad Awad in the Bellator season 8 lightweight tournament semifinals on February 28, 2013; his bouncing right back to win the season 9 lightweight tournament, including avenging the loss to Awad by winning a clear-cut unanimous decision over him in those semifinals; his unexpected opportunity, on very short notice, to face Michael Chandler on the Bellator pay-per-view on May 17, 2014, after then-champion Eddie Alvarez withdrew because of an injury; and the advantage of now having a full training camp to prepare for the rematch.

In addition, we discussed how his training at American Top Team has developed him as a fighter; how he is now based in the Coconut Creek, Florida, area so he can train regularly with the many people at American Top Team; the changes in Bellator since Scott Coker took over as president this past summer; and more.

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