Brookins takes indefinite leave, heading to India
We may or may not have seen the last of Jonathan Brookins in MMA.
Either way, we won't be seeing him in the Octagon for some time.
Following a submission loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC on FOX 5 earlier this month, Brookins has elected to take an indefinite leave of absence from the sport to focus on mindset.
And he's heading to India to do it.
According to an interview Fightland conducted with Brookins, the former Ultimate Fighter winner has lost his desire to fight, along with other things, including his Orlando home after running low on money during a rough patch in his MMA career.
He even admits that his mind was elsewhere in his most recent fight.
"I think I was (thinking about India while fighting Poirier)," Brookins told Fightland. "I think I was ready to go to India and learn something else. It didn't make sense. Mindset is everything. If this is what I'm going to do with the rest of my life it can't just be a circular argument. It can't just be about nothing. This quest to be a fighter has gotten to be frivolous, to be the wrong pursuit. I know it can be pursued the right way, but I know I'm not anywhere close to it."
While Brookins' efforts at UFC on FOX 5 were hardly the kind expected from a fighter whose heart and mind were not completely invested, he admits that it was difficult competing earlier this month and that he even "thought about quitting the fight."
Instead, he moved forward as planned with his weight cut and hit the scale. But the confrontation that happened after the weigh-ins was perhaps the most pivotal moment for Brookins that weekend.
"At the weigh-ins, I could see myself on the Jumbotron," Brookins said. "I was like, 'Shit man, you look kind of pathetic. You don't look like you're ready to fight. You look skiing.' The kid (Poirier) walks up to me after the weigh-ins and gets in my face and says, 'I want it more than you.' All tough guy: 'I want it more than you, bro.' I was like, 'What the (expletive)? How does this kid know he wanted it more than me?'
"It was an interesting thing to say, but it was really true. It was the weirdest true shit-talking I'd ever heard in my life. Usually people just talk shit and you've got a rebuttal. That was the first time it really made me think."
Brookins may be taking a leave of absence for now, but he hasn't counted out a second run in MMA once his mindset is back on track. He even believes this trip to India could make "a much better fighter" out of him.
More importantly, though, he is optimistic about what the future holds.
"It's all mindset now. I know that nothing's going to go wrong because I have the gift of this mindset (Poirier) gave me to win. All he had to do was tell me he wanted it more. That's easy enough; I can want a lot of things. And I know the formula to make it happen. And this is just a step to helping me live that lifestyle. If I want to come back and be the greatest fighter in the world, I have the lifestyle that will allow me to get things I want. That what I want to gain over there in India."
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