MMA: Joshua Pacio bracing for possible bout against Adiwang conqueror Jarred Brooks

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 06 2021 06:56 PM

ONE strawweight champion Joshua Pacio. File photo. 
ONE strawweight champion Joshua Pacio. File photo. 

MANILA, Philippines -- Although he has fought just once in ONE Championship, brash American Jarred "The Monkey God" Brooks has already gotten the attention of strawweight champion Joshua Pacio.

Brooks made quite a statement in his ONE debut, submitting Pacio's Team Lakay teammate, Lito Adiwang, in the second round of their main event encounter at ONE: NEXTGEN III.

Pacio and Team Lakay coach Mark Sangiao both lamented that Adiwang made just one wrong move in the bout, which he paid for dearly.

"Lito knew that he could finish Jarred and he just needed to consume Jarred's energy, and we believe that energy was almost out," Sangiao explained. "It just so happened that Lito went to a wrong position and that ended the match differently from what we wanted."

"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," said Pacio, for his part.

Both Sangiao and Pacio gave Adiwang 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 Pacio.

"Lito has a lot of potential and we are all witnesses of what he can pull off inside the cage. This match against Jarred is another indispensable learning lesson that will push us to upgrade, and believe me, this is still not Lito's best version because he has a lot more to offer through time and experience," Sangiao assured.

The lessons they learned in Adiwang's bout will come in handy should Pacio cross paths against Brooks -- something that the Filipino champion is looking forward to.

"We've been and are working on sharpening our weapons. I can't wait to go back inside the circle to face anyone who's worthy of and show everybody a constantly evolving Joshua Pacio," he said, also giving props to how much Brooks has made the fantasy match a must watch for the fans.

"I think Brooks is very good at hooking audiences to watch a fight plus he has skills and wide experience. For sure, his entry here in ONE raised the bar higher for the strawweights here."

"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," said Sangiao.

However, Pacio also issued a warning to the American fighter.

"To Jarred Brooks, welcome to my division. But don't you ever think that we'll hand you the belt that easily," he said.