Will Brooks is no longer the “interim” Bellator lightweight champion after becoming the first fighter to stop Michael Chandler inside the cage.
Brooks earned a fourth-round TKO victory Saturday night at Bellator 131, earning the belt after it was vacated by Eddie Alvarez. Earlier this year, Brooks earned a split decision over Chandler for the interim title.
It was a weird ending to another battle between the two, as Brooks (15-1) caught Chandler (12-3) with a right on his way up. Chandler, a former champion, backed away and waved his hands in the air, but Brooks landed several more shots before the referee could step in.
Immediately, Chandler protested the stoppage, but Jason Herzog told him he “needed to watch the replay” and see that he was out on his feet.
“I thought he stopped,” Brooks said of the finish. “I was looking up at the clock and time was going down. I thought maybe I lost track of the time. I saw him looking away and realized he doesn’t know where he’s at so I went after him and got on him.”
Brooks took to social media in the weeks leading up to the fight to voice his displeasure with Bellator’s lack of promoting him as the interim champion.
“At the end of the day, that is part of their job,” he said. “I just have to keep moving forward and do my job.
“I am here to be a face of this organization. I am happy with the direction Bellator is headed in.”