Jarred “The Monkey God” Brooks has long known that in the sport of mixed martial arts, you have to be willing to take risks. And it feels just right for him to test his mettle against one of the most dangerous fighters in the ONE Championship strawweight division in Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang.
“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.
People may think that this is just part of Brooks’ continued pre-fight trash talk as he aims to make a splash in his promotional debut at ONE: NEXTGEN III on 26 November.
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 [reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion] Joshua Pacio, in my opinion,” he said.
After all, Adiwang has definitely burst onto the scene and has won nine of his last 10 fights, the latest of which 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.