MANILA, Philippines -- Team Lakay's Lito Adiwang did not mince any words about his upcoming opponent, American Jarred "The Monkey God" Brooks.
The two will face off in a strawweight showdown at ONE: NextGen III on November 26 in Singapore, but as early as now sparks are already flying as the two combatants exchange verbal lobs.
"I think he's just an unlucky guy who talks and acts like a monkey. I guess that's why he calls himself 'The Monkey God' because he will try to bluff and get in his opponents' head before the fight and that's really all he could do," Adiwang said.
"I am ready to humble him and show him that the lions in this division eat monkeys like him for breakfast," the Team Lakay standout declared.
Brooks, who has competed in UFC and Rizin before signing with ONE Championship earlier this year, drew Adiwang's ire with his comments regarding ONE strawweight champion Joshua Pacio -- who is Adiwang's teammate in Team Lakay.
The fight between "Thunder Kid" and "The Monkey King" is one that is seven months in the making. They were supposed to fight in April, but Adiwang tested positive for COVID-19 and had to withdraw from the fight.
Since then, the Filipino has returned with a vengeance, most recently dominating Chinese foe Hexigetu at ONE: Revolution in September. He has won nine of his last ten fights.
Adiwang's attention is now focused on Brooks, as he also seeks to continue his development and gradual ascent in the strawweight division.
"I've improved from my last fight. I think that I'm a smarter, stronger, and tougher fighter now who's ready to continue winning in the strawweight division," he said.
"The cancellation of our original match, I think, is also a blessing in disguise as it gave me more time to study his style and check on his strengths and weaknesses," he added.
"With those in mind, I think I can accomplish my goals when I fight him and that is to humble him inside the ONE Circle."
The bout will be Brooks' first since December 2019, when he defeated Haruo Ochi via unanimou decision at Bellator 237.
Aside from this heated strawweight showdown between Adiwang and Brooks, ONE: NextGen III will also see the return of former ONE bantamweight kickboxing world champion Alaverdi Ramazanov as he fights Pongsiri PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym in a hard-hitting Muay Thai co-main event.