Scott Coker explains why Will Brooks, the interim champion is facing Michael Chandler in vacant title fight

Will Brooks won the interim lightweight title in May when he defeated Michael Chandler by split decision at Bellator 120 after then champion Eddie Alvarez pulled out of the fight with Chandler due to an injury.

Jason Floyd - The MMA Report
Jason Floyd – The MMA Report

With Alvarez no longer with Bellator, all signs pointed to Brooks defending the lightweight title against Chandler during the eleventh season of Bellator.

On Friday night, Bellator announced in a press release that Brooks and Chandler will meet in the co-main event of Bellator 131 on Spike TV and the bout would be for the “vacant lightweight title.”

Following the event, Bellator President Scott Coker held a post fight scrum and asked him about this being a vacant lightweight title bout.

“Will Brooks is the interim champion and the actual belt was vacated by Eddie when he left so they are fighting for the vacant title,” Coker said.

The logical question becomes, why not just take away the interim tag and make Brooks the unified lightweight champion? In the Mohegan Sun Arena on Friday night, Brooks was listed as the lightweight champion in the champions banner that was hanging in the building. When Coker was asked this question, he answered with that this was a decision made by himself and his team at Bellator.

“I just think it’s something that me and my team, he got together, agreed on that it should be earned and let him go do it.”

In the official poster for the event released by Bellator, it list the vacant lightweight title fight as “Chandler vs. Brooks II.” This caught the eye of this reporter and nearly every MMA fan. Why is Brooks listed second and not first? He did defeat Chandler and is the current interim champion. Is he playing second fiddle to Chandler?

“I do not think he is second fiddle,” Coker said. “The guy [Brooks] is a great champion and he had a great opportunity last time and he proved himself. He is going to have a chance to prove himself again.”

After Coker talked to the media about the decision to have this fight as a vacant title fight, Brooks sent out a series of tweets on his Twitter account. Two of the tweets that Brooks sent out are below and you can check out all of his tweets here.