Jarred “The Monkey God” Brooks and Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang have been engaged in a war of words leading up to their bout at ONE: NextGen III next month.
But in their faceoff on Wednesday, things took a bit of a turn as the usually brash American praised his Filipino counterpart.
“Starting with Lito is a great way to start it out,” Brooks said when asked about his awaited debut in ONE Championship.
“Lito is the best strawweight in the division besides myself, so starting out on a hard note is a great way to start.”
Brooks even included ONE strawweight champion Joshua Pacio in the conversation – and that might not sit well with Adiwang’s teammate.
“I really don’t have a lot of beef with you, Lito. I have a lot of beef with [Pacio], and I think you might too in the future,” Brooks told Adiwang.
“So, good luck man and I hope that you guys don’t have beef in the future, but I mean, bro, you’re one of the best in the world and he’s one of the best in the world and you guys are going to be fighting too.”
Adiwang said he is willing to let Pacio take the spotlight for now as a champion, and he has repeatedly mentioned that he has no plans of challenging his "brother.” He even went as far as saying that he is willing to be a gatekeeper for “The Passion.”
Brooks laughed that statement off, saying Adiwang shouldn’t allow himself to wallow in the division while Pacio is king.
“Lito has been [treating himself] as gatekeeper but he shouldn’t be. I feel bad for him that he has to deal with that,” Brooks continued.
“Going to the top five and facing people lower, that does suck because he’s better than the top five. Maybe he should talk to his management about that, but it does suck for Lito going against these really tough guys coming in.”
When put on the spot about who he thinks is better between Pacio and Adiwang, Brooks didn’t think twice about responding.
“It’s a game of inches, and Lito and Josh are great on the feet, but I think Lito is a little bit better on the feet than Josh,” Brooks said.
“As far as the jiu-jitsu and the wrestling aspect, it seems that Lito is catching up fairly quickly compared to Josh, so I think Lito is a little bit better than Josh.”
FROM THE ARCHIVES