"Now that I got a taste for winning again, it’s time to get back into the flow, take a little more risks, and throw more things out there. I also had a tough opponent (Luiz Firmino). I had a guy that was walking forward that was eating every punch and we knew he would do that from video that we watched. The main idea was to get out there and to get a win. He’s a tough guy, so you have to put together a strategy to counterbalance that," stated lightweight mixed martial artist Will "Ill Will" Brooks, who talked about his latest win, his future plans, and much more. Check it out!
JR: It’s been a heck of a ride for you the last few years going from promotion to promotion. It seems like you finally found a home with PFL. Describe not only the win that you had recently in your PFL debut, but also how you’ve been received by them compared to where you’ve been previously?
WB: I mean, I’ve had a home everywhere I go, man. I think I just have one of those personalities that wherever I go, people gravitate towards me and I gravitate towards them. I’m just one of those guys. But I’ve been very comfortable here (PFL), you know. Getting back to winning is a great thing. Winning solves everything. I went on a little downhill situation for a little bit, losing 3 in a row, so to bounce back and get a win is great. The PFL is great and have been treating me great. They bring me out to fights and do all these different things for me. They’ve looked out for me and looked out for my family and I appreciate it.
JR: You really have to appreciate the fact that you were the headliner of PFL 2 in your own backyard in Chicago. That doesn’t happen often with any promotion with a guy making his promotional debut. To me, it shows that they have a lot of faith in you. Did you see and think about that, or did you just see it as just another fight?
WB: You try to think both ways and try to find a balance in between the two, you know. You have to recognize the fact that you have to go out there and do your job. At the same time, you recognize the responsibility you have to not only your family and fans, but to the promotional organization you fight for. For them to go out there on a limb and do what they did after me being on a 3-fight losing streak, to make me the main event in my hometown, they really could’ve went a different route and did something different. Again, I’m one of those guys that gravitates towards guys and I gravitate towards people. If you have a positive energy about yourself, God finds a way to bless you and he blessed me through the PFL.
JR: It did look like you worked on some things since the last time we’ve seen you fight. Was there anything you honed in own before your PFL debut?
WB: To be honest, not really. We just got back to being comfortable in the gym and being comfortable in training. You just have to be focused at all times. For me, I’m a guy that puts 100% in on everything I do. During that time when I lost 3 in a row, I was kind of forcing things and trying to create something new, when all I really needed to do was get back to the basics and get back to what I do best and that’s what we did. We didn’t really change anything; we went to what we do best and that was just showing up to the gym with a wrestler mindset, be in the room to train hard every day, and take advantage of the great coaches and sparring partners that I have. That was about it.
JR: You know, sometimes it really does come down to those simple combos, putting them together, and timing. Were you happy about your performance in your last win?
WB: For me, it's more or less like I was satisfied, but it was bitter sweet. I felt like I could’ve performed a lot better. In the back of my mind, I was like, “I’m on a 3-fight losing streak,” and I needed to get that feeling back and get that energy of winning again, that flow going again, and that was the main goal. Now that I got a taste for winning again, it’s time to get back into the flow, take a little more risks, and throw more things out there. I also had a tough opponent (Luiz Firmino). I had a guy that was walking forward that was eating every punch and we knew he would do that from video that we watched. The main idea was to get out there and to get a win. He’s a tough guy, so you have to put together a strategy to counterbalance that. Wrestling, taking him down, and grinding through the fight was the best I could do for a guy like that.
JR: How do you keep yourself healthy and energized for what PFL is doing? In the season, the fights are only a few weeks apart. You have to be ready and also possibly fight twice in one night. How do you prepare for that, besides having the mental aspect in tact?
WB: You have to give yourself a little bit of time to relax, you know. For me, after that fight, I took just a couple of days to relax at home with my wife and kids. I had a little bit to eat, not worrying about a diet and things of that nature. But you still have to get back to work, you know. It’s one of those things where for me, coming from a wrestling background, we were wrestling every weekend or every other weekend, so that’s naturally in me and I know how to approach it. I know how to go out there and do my job, but I also know how to slow things down to relax at home and get back to work. I have a great woman in my life and my wife is incredible. My Lord and Savior has done great work in my life through my wife and it’s one of those things that you use the people around you to keep you grounded, so it’s a little bit easier.
JR: Congrats on your win and to you and your wife on the newborn. Your baby is a fighter just like you and who knows if your boy will become a fighter like yourself. Is there anything that you would like to put out there real quick?
WB: I just want to thank everybody for the love and positive energy that they share with me. I give all praise and glory to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who continues to walk in my life and bless me with opportunities. I give all praise and glory to him and keep it moving.
[ Follow John Russell on Twitter @theJ_Russ3ll ]