Not wanting to sit on the sidelines, recent Bellator lightweight tournament winner Will Brooks will return to action at Bellator: Alvarez vs. Chandler III in May.
Officials announced that Brooks will meet Nate Jolly at the promotions first pay-per-view. The event is set for May 17 from Memphis and features the third meeting between lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler.
Brooks (13-1) won the season nine tournament title, meaning he will eventually receive a shot at the championship belt. He defeated John Alessio, Saad Awad and Alexander Sarnavskiy to win the tournament crown.
â€œIâ€™m so happy to be getting back in that cage,â€ Brooks said. â€œI would be lying if I said I didnâ€™t have my sights set on Alvarez vs. Chandler III, just like everyone else, but at the same time I know how focused I am for this next fight. Iâ€™m really looking at this fight as more of a blessing than anything else.
“What some people donâ€™t understand is when you get into that tournament, you are doing everything you can to get through it healthy and keep racking up those wins. My coaches and I came in with a game plan for the tournament, and while it obviously paid off, I know there are so many adjustments I still want to make to my game, and I want to show my fans the sort of skills I have. With a full training camp under my belt, I know Iâ€™m going to take my game to the next level and really show fans how my game has evolved.â€
Brooks also answered those critical of his decision to not wait for his title shot on Twitter, posting, “The reason I’m fighting in May and not waiting for the winner is because I have bills to pay just like everyone else. Also….because this is my job and when management needs me to work if I got nothing going on I work.”
Jolly (13-5) is coming off a late 2013 victory over Gerric Hayes. He will be making his Bellator debut and is 3-1 in his last four.
â€œIâ€™m coming into this fight with really nothing to lose,â€ Jolly said. â€œIâ€™m pumped to be able to fight for Bellator on such a big stage and against a guy that I feel I match up very well against. I always want to fight the best, and I know Will is very well rounded, and I will need to be on top of my game, which will raise my skills as well. Itâ€™s going to be a great scrap, and I canâ€™t wait to get it going on May 17th.â€
The only other bout announced for the card to date features Quinton “Rampage” Jackson against “King Mo” Lawal in the season 10 light heavyweight tournament.