He's too nice of a guy to be a fighter. Same with GSP, but he has inner rage from his childhood. Mental toughness is everything.
I categorize fighters into these following categories.
Natural born killers. No, Stephan is not one of em. I mean Wandy, Shogun, Mirko at one point, Chuck Liddell, Jose Aldo, etc. They either knock out people or get knocked out themselves. Always hunting for the knock out. You can tell from their staredowns, interviews, and of course how they fight. They never play safe. They always go for broke.
Silent assassins. Fedor was primo for a decade. Mirko with no emotions from his staredowns, Gegard Mousassi is another. LHW title holder is up there. Let their actions do the talking. Anderson Silva sits on the throne now.
Journey men. Decent records, but will never become champions. Ebersole, Dennis Hallman, Gumby, etc.
Fringe fighters who need money. These end up being the worst fighters throughout their career because they're purely motivated for financial reasons. Think for a second. They may fight lackluster (safe) to win OR may go all out to try to win a fight bonus usually leaving openings for a bad knockout.
Dilletantes. Batista whom I have no problems with at all, fits in this category. Anyone who dabbles in it without any liklihood of ever getting into the big leagues.
To me that's the pecking order. You have to be mean when it comes down to business. You have to want to hurt somebody and be able to set your emotions aside win or lose. I think Brookins is a class act. But it really looks like he's going through the motions when he's fighting these days. Take for example Colton. Not very skilled, but you can tell he wants it badly and is willing to play dirty.
In conclusion MMA has to be THE TOUGHEST JOB ever. Nobody lasts forever. You will get beat one way or another. I think after watching "The Smashing Machine" it really opened up my eyes even more to the sport.
Marcus Aurelius: Tell me again, Maximus, why are we here?
Maximus: For the glory of the Empire, sire.
Baked, not fried... the healthy choice.