It's been a drama-filled week for Will Brooks, who was involved in a scrap with the Pitbull brothers earlier in the week, and then needed two attempts to make weight for his Bellator LW title defense against dangerous submission specialist Marcin Held. But once he stepped into the cage at Bellator 145 in St. Louis, Missouri, he showed why he was the promotion's reigning champion.
After the crowd grew restless in the first few minutes of round 1, Held threatened with an armbar, but then switched to a kneebar which looked very tight. Brooks escaped and finished the round on top, having survived considerable danger against the leglock wizard that is Held. Unfortunately for Poland's Held, that was just about his best chance and best moment of the fight, as rounds 2-5 largely featured Brooks fending off Held's submission attempts from the bottom, while holding firm from the top and attempting submissions of his own or passing Held's guard. An exhausted Held tried to work submissions from the bottom, but Brooks postured effectively, landed ground-and-pound in the process, and kept Held from getting any more heel hooks or toe holds or kneebars deeper than the one that happened in the opening round.
Official result: Will Brooks def. Marcin Held via unanimous decision (50-45, 49-46, 49-46) to remain Bellator lightweight champion
According to Brooks, that kneebar resulted in a pop in his right knee, and he couldn't plant properly for the remainder of the fight. So if there was ever an explanation for why Brooks chose to grapple with Held, the lack of stability on one of his knees was it.