McGuire: Former Bellator Champ Signs w/ UFC
When Ross Pearson’s opponent James Krause pulled out of their bout set for The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale due to family reasons, the first thought was probably, “Here we go again” thanks to the injury bug that has plagued bigger name fights.
However, in a ways this silver lining could be viewed as being bigger than the cloud itself as former Bellator Lightweight champion “Ill Will” Brooks is now with the UFC.
“I broke down into tears, man. Straight up broke down into tears. There’s a lot of work that has been put into this. Of course, as I said, the work isn’t done, but just to be able to have my foot in the door…” Brooks told MMAFighting.com shortly after the signing.
“To have them (the UFC) jump on board so quickly and get it done so quickly and not take time about it, it lights a fire,” Brooks said. “It makes you want to go out there and really show, man you guys did not make the wrong decision. The Will Brooks business is always good.”
Brooks is 17-1 in MMA with nine victories by stoppage. He last defended the Bellator 155-pound strap in St. Louis at last November’s Bellator 145: With a Vengeance.
The vocal, seemingly anti-Bellator competitor shared his thoughts with MMAJunkie.com on his release:
“We requested a release, and I think me and Bellator had a lot of conversations, and we worked on the relationship, and we came to a ground where we all appreciated each other, understood what direction I wanted to go, and Bellator supported me,” he said.
The TUF 23 finale where Brooks will debut is scheduled for July 8.