December 05, 2010
Dana White, media members, fellow fighters and fans all used the word humble to describe Jonathan Brookins in recent days. The kid is very talented but refuses to come off as cocky, jerk. After tonight's "Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale" it's time to add tough, granite chin and resilient to his bio. Brookins got crushed in the standup game in the opening round but bounced back to run roughshod on Michael Johnson in the next two rounds to take the TUF 12 lightweight title via unanimous decision, 29-28, 29-27 and 29-28, in Las Vegas.
"My game still has a lot to improve on," Brookins told UFC analyst Joe Rogan. "I just want invite everybody to come along for the ride with me because I got a lot of improvements to do. If they're willing, I love for you guys to watch it."
Beyond that, Brookins only wanted to speak about his opponent.
"It was no surprise," Brookins said of the early beating he took in the first round. "Even in the house, he was the best athlete, hands down on the whole season. He's going to have a long career."
Johnson, 24, has great potential but it was his one weakness during the show, a lack of stamina, that did him in.
Brookins made Johnson look like a brilliant striker in the opening round. The Orlando-based fighter uses very little head movement, so Johnson teed off on the stationary target. Just over 90 seconds into the fight, he dropped Brookins with a left hook. He continued to batter Brookins on the feet but he couldn't take him out. The kid has a ridiculous chin.
"Man, I was stunned. I was like 'oh man, here comes Michael Johnson.' Typical Michael Johnson. Just beatin up on people. He's an incredible competitor. My hat's off to him," said Brookins.
Brookins, 25, took UFC featherweight champ Jose Aldo, widely regarded a top 10 pound-for-pound fighter, into the third round during a fight in late 2008. He showed an awesome chin in that one and it was no different tonight.
Johnson exhibited good takedown defense in the opening round, but that changed in the second. Brookins, a ground specialist, was relentless. He scored a takedown early in the second. Johnson couldn't rise to his feet for over three minutes and when he did, he got lifted in the air and slammed down again. Brookins did a lot of damage during the round by grinding his elbow into Johnson's face and landing some big shots.
At the start of the third, Johnson's right eye was swelling and he had bruising around the left. Brookins scored another takedown just 45 seconds into the round. Johnson's mouth was open. He was taking deep breaths. Brookins didn't do a ton of damage this time around and Johnson actually got back to his feet with two and half minutes left in the fight. He still had a chance. Unfortunately the exhausted Johnson tried a sloppy shot for a takedown and got thrown by Brookins, who finished the fight with top control.
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