It looks like Will Brooks’ big win in Japan on New Year’s Eve has parlayed him a spot in the upcoming Bellator lightweight tournament. He will be taking on veteran Bellator tourney fighter Ricardo Tirloni in his debut. This is the final match-up scheduled for the Season Eight Lightweight Tournament that kicks off at Bellator 87.
Brooks went from a relative unknown to a real star in a matter of two rounds. He got a short-notice call to step up and challenge Japanese fighter Satoru Kitaoka, and he passed with flying colors, with a TKO stoppage in the second round sealing the deal for the American. Bellator must have moved fast to scoop him up, and he enters the tournament with an unblemished 8-0 record that has only one decision victory within those eight fights.
Tirloni is 2-2 in Bellator, but he has taken part in two lightweight tournaments. He entered Bellator at 13-1, and he lived up to his hype by choking out Steve Gable in the second round. Then, in the Season Six Lightweight Tournament, he was matched up with eventual winner Rick Hawn and was promptly knocked out in the first round. Next, he entered the Season Seven tournament, and he won his first match against Rene Nazare by D’Arce Choke. Dave Jensen took him out of the tournament by a close split decision. He will likely be looking at his last tournament run if he loses in this upcoming bout.
Other announced match-ups have Season Four finalist Patricky Freire taking on Canadian up-and-comer Guillaume DeLorenzi, twottime semifinalist Lloyd Woodard returning to take on former welterweight David Rickels, and former professional kickboxer Thiago Michel facing 21-1 Alexander Sarnavskiy.