MANILA, Philippines -- Jarred "The Monkey God" Brooks wants to prove that he is not scared to take risks, as he battles the always-dangerous Lito Adiwang in his maiden ONE Championship bout.
"People are saying that he's like a boogeyman or something like that. But yeah, I'm excited to fight him and I'm excited to show everybody that I can be the king of the division," said the brash American.
Some have pegged Brooks' statement as pre-fight trash talk, as he aims to make a splash in his promotional debut at ONE: NEXTGEN III on November 26.
But the former Fight Matrix strawweight lineal champion understands very well the fight he's preparing for, baring that he has done his homework of scouting the division even before he enters the ONE Circle.
"I did research on a lot of the fighters and I do extensive research. And I am definitely up on it when it comes down to knowing who the fighters are before I fight them," he said.
Adiwang is no exception, with Brooks fully understanding the capabilities of the ONE Super Series winner.
"I know that Lito is a little bit more explosive, a little bit more scarier to fight. I wouldn't say necessarily better but he's a little bit scarier, a little bit more at risk to fight [than reigning ONE strawweight world champion] Joshua Pacio, in my opinion," he said.
Adiwang has established himself as a top contender in the strawweight division, having won nine of his last 10 matches including a dominant unanimous decision victory over Chinese foe "Wolf of the Grasslands" Hexigetu at ONE: Revolution back in September to earn his place as the No. 5 contender in the ONE Athlete Rankings.
In Brooks' eyes, however, he's just an obstacle that he needs to hurdle to accomplish his goals of soon becoming the king of the strawweights in ONE.
"Lito is the scarier fighter. He's in the top five and he seems like a gatekeeper in the division right now. So yeah, I think that meeting him would actually put me in the top five," he said.
The Brooks-Adiwang clash will be the main event of the loaded ONE: NextGen III card, which will also see a Muay Thai showdown between bantamweights Pongsiri P.K.Saenchai Muaythaigym of Thailand and Alaverdi Ramazanov of Russia, as well as a rematch eight years in the making between strawweight contenders Alex "Little Rock" Silva and Rene "The Challenger" Catalan.