It’s been a long road back to the mixed martial arts world for Jonathan Brookins, but he’s looking to reinvent himself in not only a new promotion, but a new weight class, too. Brookins will be moving down from featherweight to flyweight – a whole 20lbs cut – and meet Cody Fuller (10-7) at Legacy FC 29 on March 21.
Brookins recently moved to India after losing his passion for the sport and retiring at the age of 26; once a promising featherweight, he has lost three decisive fights in his last four, to top guys in Erik Koch, Charles Oliveira and Dustin Poirier respectively, and was cut by the UFC shortly after. With a plethora of talented fighters in the featherweight division, it was hard to emerge as a contender and the UFC decided that Brookins wouldn’t be able to compete with the top guys at 145 and decided to let him go.
Now, over 13 months after his last fight against the aforementioned Dustin Poirier, he will be competing under the Texas-based Legacy FC banner as a flyweight, and will hope to rejuvenate his career there in the same manner as the likes of Leonard Garcia and Tim Means.
Brookins emerged as a likeable character after the entertaining twelfth season of The Ultimate Fighter, which was coached by Georges St-Pierre and Josh Koscheck. The Team Koscheck star ended up victorious over Michael Johnson – currently a top contender at lightweight – but decided to drop down to 145 in the hope he would find further success. The plan wasn’t to move down at all, but after pulling out of consecutive fights with John Makdessi and Jeremy Stephens consecutively, he was matched up with Erik Koch. After an unsuccessful three-rounder with Koch, he rebounded with a win over Vagner Rocha, before losing two straight fights and announcing a surprising retirement.
Since his trip to India, and practicing yoga on a full-time basis, Brookins has stated that he has regained his passion for the sport and is hoping to reemerge as a contender in his new weight class, flyweight. Whether the weight cut will be too much for the former lightweight is another story altogether, but it is an intriguing drop. His opponent, Cody Fuller, has lost two straight but is looking to ruin Brookins’s dreams of reinventing himself at 125.