Saad Awad is the only fighter to defeat former Bellator MMA Lightweight Champion Will Brooks in Bellator MMA competition.
The fighter is also not too shocked to learn that Brooks isn’t faring to well in the UFC.
“I’m not really surprised,” Awad told MMA Junkie. “I think in Bellator, guys probably respected him too much because he was the champ. I think going in there and fighting, he doesn’t get that, ‘Oh (expletive), it’s the champ’ and people would allow him to compete at his full potential.”
Awad earned that aforementioned victory over Brooks by first round knockout at Bellator 91 in February 2013.
If there is any advice that Awad would offer his former rival, it would be to respect what the other fighters skill set is when they clash in the Octagon.
“When he went over there, he’s just another fighter and people don’t respect him as much, and that’s why he’s having more trouble,” Awad said. “He’s a really good fighter and I’m sure he’ll bounce back. He lost to a jiu-jitsu guy who could catch anybody. He didn’t respect the jiu-jitsu and wasn’t afraid of it and that’s what happened.”
Bellator 178 takes place on Friday, April 21 from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut with Daniel Straus and Patricio Freire headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event.