IRVINE, Calif. -- Submission specialist Marcin Held racked up another victory in Bellator's lightweight division Friday, defeating Tiger Sarnivsky with a kneebar at Bellator 136 with a verbal surrender that champion "Ill" Will Brooks might have heard back in his locker room.
Held (21-3), Bellator's Seson 10 tournament winner, won his sixth straight fight with his 12th career submission.
But Brooks isn't too worried about whether the 23-year-old Polish upstart is next in line, not after an impressive title defense against Dave Jansen on the campus of Cal-Irvine.
"Right now I'm not thinking about that stuff," Brooks (16-1) said. "He won a tournament, he came out and win another fight tonight, if he's going to get the next title shot, then that's what it is, I'm ready to fight anyone who comes down the road."
You can't blame Brooks for not wanting to commit to his next title defense yet, not after the veteran Jansen made the American Top Team fighter do some work to earn his win. Jansen turned the bout into a down-and-dirty affair, forcing Brooks to turn up the heat in the championship rounds before earning across the board, 49-46 scores.
"I didn't expect him to slow down, so I wasn't going to slow down and maybe possibly depending what the judges were thinking, maybe pull something off with the judges or clip me or do something crazy," Brooks said. "I could feel him getting desperate so that made me feel I might have been winning the fight. When he picked up the pace I was like alright, time for me to pick up the pace and stay on top of him."
Brooks and Jansen exchanged sharp words before the fight, but as far as the champ is concerned, the beef's been squashed.
"It was a high intensity situation, but you're fighting for the title of an organization, he said he wasn't worried about the belt. but in the back of your head you really are. This is a big opportunity. I think emotions run high. this is my first title defense. For me, leading up to the fight, I let people know I just one and that's it, I'm going to be here a long time."