Will Brooks on Gilbert Melendez staying in UFC: It’s a bummer and wants to fight before title shot

When it was announced that Gilbert Melendez agreed to terms with Bellator on February 14th, Bellator lightweight Will Brooks made it known that he wanted to be Melendez’s first fight in BellatorWill_Brooks

However, Brooks will not get that opportunity as the UFC announced on late Sunday night that they had matched the Bellator offer and Melendez would coach The Ultimate Fighter 20 against current UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis.

Following the news of Melendez heading back to the UFC, TheMMAReport.com reached out to Brooks and he said via a text that it’s a bummer and he would like to get a fight before his title shot.

“It’s a bummer, but it’s what it is,” Brooks said. “Would have been fun to fight him. Was looking forward to possibly competing against such a skilled experience fighter. I definitely want to fight before the title fight. I’m a work horse and I love to compete, title shot or not.”

Brooks (13-1) has won five of his six fights in Bellator, including a decision win over Alexander “Tiger” Sarnavskiy to win the season nine lightweight tournament. He is one of two men waiting for a title shot in the lightweight division, with season seven tournament winner Dave Jansen being the other. Jansen has been recovering from a knee injury, which Bellator MMA Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney said that Jansen will probably return in the fall.

Current lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez will be defending the title in the next couple of months against former champion Michael Chandler in their trilogy bout at the first ever Bellator pay-per-view. Depending on what happens in that title fight, Brooks or Jansen could be facing the winner during season eleven, which is scheduled to begin in September.