by Steven Marrocco on May 31, 2012 at 4:05 pm ET
"The Ultimate Fighter 12" winner Jonathan Brookins has a couple pieces of advice for the winner of "The Ultimate Fighter: Live."
Don't go crazy after the show, and invest your money wisely.
"Spend all that money making the best you," Brookins (13-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC) said in advance of his fight with Brazilian featherweight Charles Oliveira (15-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) at The Ultimate Fighter Live Finale. "Who cares if you spend every dime trying to be the best fighter?"
The Ultimate Fighter Live Finale takes place June 1 at The Pearl at Palms Casino Resort. Brookins vs. Oliveira serves on the FX-televised main card following prelims on FUEL TV and Facebook.
Brookins, who was college roommates "TUF: Live" contestant Mike Rio, admitted that he lost focus at the end of his reality tour.
After a listless decision loss Erik Koch followed by an emphatic knockout of Vagner Rocha, he's found his path promoting a healthy lifestyle and fighting.
But back then, he was more concerned with having the freedom to party all he wanted after being virtually locked inside a house for six weeks. He was so happy to be out, he forgot about getting in to the gym.
"That was my biggest problem," Brookins said. "I didn't want to ever go to practice. It was a hard rebound, but I'm getting back on track."
Looking at the fighters from this season, whose time in front of cameras has more than doubled to 13 weeks, Brookins said an investment in training is the best choice that can be made.
"Go somewhere that you know is going to make you happy," he said. "Invest in things like good food (and) good training equipment because that's what's going to be next in line for you is another fight. Don't spend it on things like cars and clothes that are not really going to help the cause."
Brookins previously has spoken about his goal of opening a raw-food cafe and coffee shop and said he now understands that fighting is a means to that end.
"I want something to fight for, rather than just fight to fight," he told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I feel like I've come to a place where I know that I need to fight in order to get where I want to go in life, so now it's more a necessity more than anything.
"It's a nice place to be. It definitely fuels some fire."
Faced with Oliveira, a dangerous striker who's already put away one "TUF" winner in season-eight's Efrain Escudero, Brookins will need some heat to come out ahead.
"It's a tough opponent, and that's exactly what I have to be doing now, is fighting the tough opponents," he said. "That's just how I look at it. There are just so many hungry young dudes in the 145-pound division right now. I'm not expecting an easy fight, ever."
Another win would not only boost his career, but also give him the platform he wants to promote healthy living.
"I have to be great at fighting in order for this message to mean more to people," Brookins said. "If I suck, then people are going to be like, 'Ah, forget what he has to say.' So it's very important for me to do well, so I can speak to people and help them out."