ONE Championship: Joshua Pacio vs Jarred Brooks strawweight title fight headlines return to Manila
- Strawweight champion Pacio was originally slated to defend title against Brooks at ONE 158 in June, but fight fell through
- Pair will now meet on Pacio’s home turf at Mall of Asia Arena, headlining ONE’s first event in Manila in almost three years
Joshua Pacio and Jarred Brooks have been waiting a long time to settle their differences in the ONE Championship Circle. It seems they will be rewarded for their patience.
During Friday’s ONE Championship 160 broadcast, it was revealed that the Filipino champion Pacio will defend the promotion’s strawweight title against the outspoken American Brooks at ONE 164 on December 3 – ONE’s first event in Manila since January 2020.
“ONE Championship will be back in the Philippines,” Pacio wrote on Instagram soon after his fight with Brooks was unveiled. “And again I got the privilege to perform and defend our title in front of my Filipino Kababayan.”
“I’ll see you after 3 months,” he added, tagging Brooks.
“The Passion”, 26, was originally slated to defend the strawweight title against the 28-year-old Brooks at ONE Championship 158 in June in Singapore, but the fight fell through, and the card was instead headlined by a featherweight Muay Thai fight between Tawanchai PK Saenchai and Niclas Larsen.
The Filipino (20-3) has ruled over the ONE strawweight division since April 2019, and has defended the belt three times since, submitting Rene Catalan, defeating Alex Silva by decision, and most recently, knocking out Yosuke Saruta.
While the two-time champion’s reign has been impressive, the suffocating wrestler Brooks is widely viewed as his toughest opponent to date.
The American (19-2) entered the MMA limelight as a member of the UFC roster, but parted ways with the promotion after a split decision win over Roberto Sanchez in 2018.
After pit stops in the Rizin Fighting Federation ring and Bellator MMA cage, he then signed with ONE in 2021.
“The Monkey God” has rattled off three straight wins since joining the promotion: a pair of submissions over Lito Adiwang and Bokang Masunyane, interspersed by a unanimous decision against Hiroba Minowa.
No other fights have been confirmed for ONE 164 at this time, but more matchups should be revealed soon.