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TUF 12 winner Jonathan Brookins walking away from the UFC at age 27

Jonathan BrookinsTwo years ago, a hungry fighter named Jonathan Brookins showed up on TUF 12 and went on to win the season by outpointing Michael Johnson in fairly convincing fashion. Fast-forward to the end of 2012 and the soft-spoken, technically sound featherweight has had his fill of Mixed Martial Arts and is opting out of the sport.

Specifically, Brookins has decided to tender his resignation from the UFC in order to explore other interests, primarily those in India and involving yoga.

“I didn’t really have much fight left in me. I kind of hit a dead end,” explained Brookins in an interview with Fightland of his mental state entering his most recent rumble. “Pursuing this sport with the mindset that I have is counterproductive. It didn’t make sense. Mindset is everything.”

“I think that I can find a happiness about myself, a way of living, where my constitution is more sound,” he continued. “I think that martial arts has been a positive, but it hasn’t been as much as it could be. I want to find martial arts for real. Yoga just seems to me like one of the oldest forms of martial arts. It seems like the very beginning. When the Shaolin monks wanted to learn to fight, there was a yoga teacher who taught the monks how to exercise and how to defend themselves – how to properly prepare themselves, prepare their bodies, prepare their minds. So starting with yoga just seems so natural to me.”

The 27-year old also made it a point to say his decision is not necessarily an official retirement though he acknowledged it could mean the end of his run in MMA, a possibility he’s perfectly content with.

“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,” admitted Brookins. “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.”

The 13-6 Brookins suffered a first-frame submission loss to Dustin Poirier last weekend at the Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale. The defeat was his third in four fights since winning TUF.

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

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