Reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio has heard Jarred Brooks, the man they call “The Monkey God”, loud and clear. And he expects nothing less from all of the challengers on his tail.
“I’m on top of the food chain so it’s just natural that everyone’s going to call me out. Our job now is to stay ready and keep sharp to defend our position. We got our eyes on the top five contenders in this division and make no mistake about it, we are watching closely,” Pacio said.
Brooks delivered an emphatic statement at ONE: NEXTGEN III where he scored a second-round submission win over Team Lakay rising star Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang.
But for the famed Baguio-based camp, Adiwang actually made a lot more ground than what meets the eye in his faceoff against the brash American.
“Lito knew that he could finish Jarred and he just needed to consume Jarred’s energy, and we believe that energy was almost out,” said Team Lakay coach Mark Sangiao. “It just so happened that Lito went to a wrong position and that ended the match differently from what we wanted.”
Pacio added, “Lito did well. He defended the guillotine and he landed some strong shots especially that leg kick that Brooks asserted was a low blow but was not.”
Both Sangiao and Pacio actually gave Adiwang a lot of credit for how he held his own, especially with this being the Thunder Kid’s first main event match.
“I guess it wasn’t our night, but one thing I know is Lito will return in a more dangerous fighting fit,” said the 25-year-old champion.
Sangiao also agreed, saying, “We always see a new player as a new threat but a positive threat. When you face an unfamiliar threat, what do you do? You deal with it, you equip yourself and by doing so, you become better. Jarred is a driver for our athletes to keep growing.”
Still, Pacio promises that he is holding on tight to his ONE Strawweight World Championship and he will fight tooth and nail to keep his spot at the pinnacle.
“To Jarred Brooks, welcome to my division. But don’t you ever think that we’ll hand you the belt that easily.”