Consider this message received, Jarred Brooks.
Reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio has heard the man they call “The Monkey God” loud and clear, and he expects nothing less from all of the challengers on his tail.
“I’m on top of the food chain so it’s just natural that everyone’s going to call me out. Our job now is to stay ready and keep sharp to defend our position. We got our eyes on the top five contenders in this division and make no mistake about it, we are watching closely,” Pacio said.
Brooks delivered an emphatic statement at ONE: NEXTGEN III where he scored a second round submission win over Team Lakay rising star Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang.
But for the famed Baguio-based camp, Adiwang actually made a lot more ground than what meets the eye in his faceoff against the brash American.
“Lito knew that he could finish Jarred and he just needed to consume Jarred’s energy, and we believe that energy was almost out,” said Team Lakay coach Mark Sangiao. “It just so happened that Lito went to a wrong position and that ended the match differently from what we wanted.”
Pacio added, “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.”
Both Sangiao and Pacio actually gave Adiwang a lot of 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 the 25-year-old champion.
Sangiao, the decorated mentor also chimed in and noted, “The Thunder Kid 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.”
As for Brooks, Pacio is just excited to test his mettle against the ONE newcomer, hopeful that he could utilize the things they’ve learned from this Adiwang match to his favor if ever their paths eventually cross.
“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.”
Sangiao also agreed, saying, “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.”
Still, Pacio promises that he is holding on tight to his ONE Strawweight World Championship and he will fight tooth and nail to keep his spot at the pinnacle.
“To Jarred Brooks, welcome to my division. But don’t you ever think that we’ll hand you the belt that easily.”