Vice’s excellent Fightland website catches up with Jonathan Brookins, once a promising TUF winner but now homeless and on a two fight skid. Yup, homeless – he apparently ‘lost his house in Orlando after most of his money ran out.’ I guess that famous six figure contract you get for winning TUF ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. 20k/20k doesn’t sound too bad … until you factor in taxes, training costs, and of course don’t forget LOSING.
Being poor tends to lend itself to being way too introspective. You don’t have the money to go out and do shit to take your mind off being broke, and being broke makes you question everything you’ve done / are doing. So it’s no surprise that Brookins is in the midst of a mental quandary on the direction of his life. His solution? India.
It’s not hard to make a career in the UFC. If you really want it, you can make it happen. I think I just talked myself of really wanting it. I don’t know if I talked myself out of it or if I really don’t want it anymore. That made it tough to keep going and to fight last weekend. I didn’t really have much fight left in me. I kind of hit a dead end.
I definitely had my mind on other things I wanted to do and pursue. I just stopped believing in the fight business and stopped believing in what it was I was even doing. I just didn’t quite understand. There wasn’t much that I wanted about that (Poirier) fight.
I think I was ready to go to India and learn something else. Pursuing this sport with the mindset that I have is counterproductive. 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. I’m not really down to live this temporary, right-now way of life.
All the things I didn’t learn in fighting to better myself I feel like I can explore in this avenue. If it means extra effort or extra solitude, I’m going to pursue this harder than I even pursued fighting. I feel like it could make me a much better fighter, but if it leads me to not fight again, I think I would be okay with that.
So while that’s not a full on “I’m retiring to pull an Eat Pray Love,” it’s pretty close. Mr Brookins, whatever happens we wish you the best! So long and thanks for all the fists.