Earlier this month, former Bellator MMA champion Will Brooks stepped into the Octagon in the co-main event of ‘UFC Fight Night: Portland’ to square off with Alex ‘Cowboy’ Oliveira in Oliveira’s lightweight debut.
The prior day, Oliveira came in five pounds over the lightweight limit of 156 pounds for a non-title fight, forfeiting 20% of his purse to Brooks. While Brooks could have opted to turn down the fight given that Oliveira came in overweight, he chose to accept the fight.
Ultimately, a first round rib injury that grew progressively worse inhibited Brooks’ performance, aiding Oliveira in picking up a third round TKO win. While the finish was an impressive one, it was Oliveira’s post-fight actions that earned him the attention of fans; and not in a good way. Oliveira proceeded to make several offensive gestures towards Brooks, who was still laying on the canvas.
Brooks reflected on the situation during the 5ive Rounds podcast:
“I think those guys are scumbags. I think they’re unprofessional and I think they’re cheaters. In my opinion, at the end of the day, I think they purposely missed weight. I think they did that on purpose. I think they were looking for an advantage.
“For you to miss weight by five, almost six pounds — that’s something different. In my opinion, you didn’t even try. You’re looking for an advantage. And then during the weigh-ins and you’re doing all this stuff, you guys aren’t acting professional like you really wanted to make the weight. They were in the back dancing and laughing and doing all this other stuff, acting like everything was cool, which I guess everything was cool. They accomplished their goal and got their advantage.”
After the fight, Oliveira revealed that he still planned to frequently train at American Top Team part-time, where Brooks has trained for nearly his entire professional MMA career.
That didn’t sit too well with Brooks:
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“I hold grudges when it comes to things like that. If they think they’re going to come into ATT, you know, they’ll have a fucking problem with me. Excuse my language but I’m not gonna sit around and let those guys be in my building. I’ve earned that time. These guys come and go. I’m a guy that has earned that opportunity to be here at all times.
“I’m not gonna sit here and be like, ‘Oh, it’s OK for you to disrespect me, come into a building where I’ve earned my space.’ So, yeah, in the gym, if they’re allowed to be here, am I going to associate with them? No. Am I going to look for another opportunity to compete against them? I’m definitely going to take that opportunity and I’m going to make him bleed. I’m going to hurt him.”