At Bellator 145 on Nov. 6th at the Scotrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri, Bellator champions Will Brooks and Patricio Freire will both be in action. Brooks, the lightweight champ, defends his title against Marcin Held. Freire, the featherweight title holder, squares off for the third time against Daniel Straus.
They’re two fighters on the roster, but with independent fights from one another. They’re not even in the same weight class. Yet, they didn’t stop both – especially Brooks – from hammering each other on a conference call to promote their event on Thursday.
Brooks didn’t begin the call by mentioning Freire in any capacity, although he was noticeably testy and engaged. When asked if he’s getting the requisite promotion he needs – a steady complaint he’s lobed since becoming champion – he was seemingly disinterested.
“Honestly, I don’t even care anymore, man. I’m here to do my job. I got my fiancee here. I got a baby on the way. The only thing I’m focused on is putting enough money in the bank to supply the lifestyle I want to supply for me daughter. As far as getting attention as the lightweight champion and all this other stuff, I don’t care what they do anymore. I’m going to go out there and compete.
“The one thing I’ve recognized in the whole entire equation of this politics – promoting this guy, promoting that guy – the one thing that nobody can ever change is us actually having to go out there compete and fight,” Brooks said. “That’s the one thing I can control and that’s what I’m going to go out there and do. That’s all I’m focused on right now.
“I’m chippy right now. This is our job. This is my livelihood. It’s how I make my money. This is it, man. So, yeah, I’m chippy right now. I’m ready to hurt somebody. I’m ready to go.”
In fact, while some fighters take the opportunity to build their impending opponent up and underscore their strengths, Brooks did not. Instead, he reminded all those listening of his prowess and how Held’s limited view of fighting will cost him in the end.
“I think he’s very one dimensional,” Brooks said of Held. “I think he’s a leg lock guy and he’s invested a lot of his time into that. If he decides that he wants to try after I defend his leg locks and beat him up and punch him in the face and hurt him, if he decides to roll to something else, then I’ll just continue to beat him up because I don’t think he’s put his mind set into an overall MMA fighter like I have.”
A confident champion publicly expressing this type of opinion isn’t necessarily unusual, but what happened later in the call is a stray from the norm.
When asked who Freire might be looking to fight next should he get through Straus at Bellator 145, the Brazilian seemed to suggest Brooks was on his radar.
Naturally, this admission caused the lightweight champion to offer a full-throated response.
“Don’t embarrass yourself like that, bro,” the American replied. “For real, stop playing. This dude, he’s ridiculous. He’s not what he believes he is. What he’s doing is he’s trying to make himself relevant. He sees another guy that is actually a skilled fighter, who’s actually performing, who doesn’t have to go out there and have to get beat up and thrown all over the cage and then all of a sudden have to be the comeback kid. I go out there and dominate fights. I beat dudes up. Since 2013, when I had my first loss, when was the last time you saw me get beat the fuck up and then all of a sudden try to have to make a comeback?
“Dude, you’re a clown,” he continued. “You and your sister, Patricky, both of you dudes talk so much on Twitter, but when you see me in person, it’s the same routine. You look down at the floor. You try to hide in plain sight. You’re both clowns, man. Just go ahead, you and your sister, can just talk on Twitter, but leave me alone. You don’t want those problems.
“I would beat the shit out of that dude, man. I would beat his ass and then I’ll him tag his brother in and I’ll beat his ass and then their interpreter and their whole squad of people, I’ll let all of them tag each other in and I’ll just have a night of whipping their asses.”
At first, the featherweight champion only responded by saying, “Very funny, you are,” but Brooks was by no means done excoriating Freire for his statements and social media indiscretions.
“This is what I’ve been saying, man. Think about this,” Brooks explained. “That dude has spent more time talking trash to me than he has been worried about his own fight. He’s filled with fear and it’s showing. Every time he mentions my name, every time his sister mentions my name, it’s been projecting their fear. He doesn’t want to have to worry about Daniel getting out there, putting his foot on his neck again and this time actually closing the deal.
“He’s worried about me. He’s nervous. He’s scared. This is why he turns his attention to me. He knows that him having to fight me is so unrealistic, now he can put his energy into that. He can deflect his fear and nervousness into a different direction. Him and his sister are a bunch of clowns and they’re fearful. They’re pussies.”
As far as the lightweight champion is concerned, Freire’s success is a function of luck. He’s been beaten down and found serendipity later in fights. That’s not how Brooks sees himself and ultimately, why he argues Freire’s fortunes are about to change.
“That’s not being a dominant fighter,” Brooks added. “That’s being a walking punching bag that’s been lucky. This time around, he’s not going to get lucky. I’ve been training with Daniel. We’ve been working overtime in the gym. Daniel’s been helping me get ready. I’ve been helping him get ready. We’re going out there to close deals, that’s it.”
“Will Brooks, you’re nervous,” Freire replied through a translator. “Calm down, guy. You’re going to have a heart attack.”
Behind a language barrier, it’s not clear if the entirety of Freire’s words or thoughts were conveyed, but enough of the message seemingly got through. Whatever happened on social media, Brooks took it to personally, Freire alleged. And besides, Freire claimed his focus is fine. It’s Brooks who needs to change his priorities.
“[Brooks] always complains about life. He challenges people and other stuff. He’s always talking crap on Twitter and he tells it to me and my brother. All that I did was, he was asking for a fight and said my brother would step up and he got mad.
“Stop crying, man,” Freire implored. “And you have a tough opponent ahead of you.Marcin Held is a very tough fight. You have to focus on him. I have my focus on Straus. I have no focus on anyone else.”