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Joshua Pacio celebrates a victory in the ONE Circle. Photos: ONE Championship

ONE Championship: Joshua Pacio says Jarred Brooks is just a ‘fighter’, not a ‘martial artist’

  • Strawweight MMA king ‘feels bad’ that Brooks ‘needs to do that trash talk to make a name for himself’ in ONE
  • Filipino Pacio warns American ‘don’t forget I’m the champion here’ ahead of Manila main event on December 3

ONE Championship strawweight MMA king Joshua Pacio has taken a swipe at Jarred Brooks ahead of their heated main event clash in Manila on December 3.

The 26-year-old Filipino (20-3) is seeking a fourth straight successful defence of his title at the Mall of Asia Arena, but faces undoubtedly the toughest test of his career.

Former UFC star Brooks (19-2, 1 no contest) has stormed through the division since debuting a year ago against Pacio’s Team Lakay stablemate, Lito Adiwang.

The 29-year-old American followed that win – via second-round arm triangle – with a unanimous decision against Japan’s Hiroba Minowa and then a first-round submission of South Africa’s Bokang Masunyane in April to earn his shot – all while taunting Pacio with unrelenting trash talk.

“As a martial artist you should show respect all of the time, before and after the fight,” Pacio said. “There you can see the difference between a martial artist and a fighter.

Jared Brooks celebrates his win over Lito Adiwang at ONE: NextGen III.

“I feel bad for Jarred Brooks, that he needs to do that trash talk to make a name for himself. As a martial artist, you need to show the core values of a martial artist, and be a good example to the younger generation that looks up to you.”

“People watch Jarred Brooks because they want to see him lose,” he added. “And I love giving the fans what they want.”

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While he may not like to hear him run his mouth, Pacio is not ignoring Brooks’ abilities in the cage – far from it. He knows “The Monkey God”, with his wrestling pedigree, will be especially dangerous on the ground.

“I’ve been preparing for the ground game of Jarred Books,” he said. “I have a lot of sparring partners, like Stephen Loman who has a very strong wrestling and ground game.

“All of my teammates who I’ve been partnering with are stronger than me. Stephen, Danny [Kingad], Jeremy [Pacatiw], Jhanlo [Sangiao] – all of them.”

Joshua Pacio knocks out Yosuke Saruta with a knee.

One thing counting against “The Passion” is his relative inactivity – Brooks has fought and won three times since Pacio settled his trilogy against Yosuke Saruta with a first-round knockout in September 2021.

“Don’t forget that I’m the world champion here, and he’s never faced somebody like me,” Pacio said, however.

“Keeping the belt means to inspire more young generations here in the Philippines. I will prove that the belt really belongs here.”