ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio watched the battle between Bokang “Little Giant” Masunyane and Jarred “The Monkey God” Brooks at ONE 156 last month intently. After all, the winner would be the next challenger to his crown.
In the end, Brooks moved one step closer on his quest to become a ONE World Champion after submitting Masunyane in the first round – it wasn’t a result Pacio would’ve bet the house on.
“I expected a unanimous decision win by Brooks, but he displayed his wrestling and grappling prowess. I must say, I’m very impressed,” the Team Lakay mainstay said. “Bokang is equally a fine wrestler, and I think he wants to prove that, but Brooks was very slick taking his back.”
While the 26-year-old titleholder will be cautious of Brooks’ submission game, he’s raring to enter the Circle against the man who’s built a 3-0 record in ONE.
“Any time soon,” the Baguio City-based fighter said. “I’m ready to go.”
Pacio knows that the verbal jabs from the Michigan-based competitor will only increase as the inevitable draws near. However, the current division king knows that it’s all part of the show, and he won’t give in to Brooks’ prodding.
“I think I have a fair idea about this sport’s business side, and I’ve seen a lot of guys like him talk to market themselves, so I understand what he’s playing,” Pacio said.
“As for me, I’m just focused on my training and our game plan. I’m just happy he talks a lot and doing all that hype.”
But the Mash Fight Team representative has backed up his talk with three victories in ONE Championship. One of those wins was against Pacio’s teammate, Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang.
After a trifecta of fights, “The Passion” admitted that Brooks’ game doesn’t have many holes. Yet, despite Brooks’ invincibility, Pacio still has some tricks that the American hasn’t seen.
“I’m focusing on everything because this is MMA. I know his strength is wrestling, but I have a lot of tools in my game that I haven’t yet demonstrated inside the Circle,” the ONE World Champion said.
That said, Pacio has one goal when he encounters the 18-2 Brooks.
“[I want] to show him who’s the best strawweight on the planet and who the real daddy is,” he added.
And on a lighter side, the ONE World Champion of over three years answered Brooks’ side bet regarding his television set.
“I don’t need a new TV,” Pacio said. “But when he loses, I’ll charge him for that TV, and I will straightly put that in my bathroom.”
“I heard you calling my name many times. Don’t you worry, I’ll see you soon.”