Broke Jonathan Brookins lost belief in fighting and himself; headed for spiritual journey to India

USA TODAY Sports

UFC featherweight Jonathan Brookins is taking a leave of absence from mixed martial arts to go on a spiritual journey. Find out why he feels he lost his way below.

While many fans and journalists alike were complimentary of Jonathan Brookins' performance this past weekend, losing a spirited one-round bout against featherweight foe Dustin Poirier on The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale main card, he had his mind on other things.

Despite showcasing improvement in his stand-up skills, the former winner of TUF season 12 has not had his mind fully on fighting for a while now, telling Fightland that he's flat broke and ready to go pursue other things for the time being:

"I think I just talked myself out 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."

Those "other things" include a trip to India, where plans to go and learn something other than mixed martial arts. He explains further:

"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."

Brookins has always been a very spiritual person, whether it be his yoga routine or meditation, he's constantly looking to improve himself and that doesn't necessarily mean becoming a better fighter. Perhaps the peaceful ideals have finally found no way to coexist with the life of a cagefighter.

There's plenty more where that came from and you should go read the rest of the interview which discusses his rough weight cut before the fight among other things.

Do you think this is the last we've seen of Jonathan Brookins? He's now 2-3 inside the Octagon, losing three tough bouts to three of the better featherweights in the division. Will he find that desire again?

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