Pacio wants to end Brooks saga definitively
MMA

Joshua Pacio wants to end Jarred Brooks saga definitively

/ 05:20 AM March 17, 2024

ONE Championship fighter Joshua Pacio.

ONE Championship fighter Joshua Pacio. –ONE PHOTO

“There is no other person in my mind other than Jarred Brooks. We have unfinished business.”

Thus said Joshua Pacio in a chat with the Inquirer on Saturday noon as he joined Manila-based reporters for lunch after winning the ONE strawweight belt earlier this month in Qatar.

Pacio, now fighting out of Lions Nation MMA, reclaimed his lofty perch in the weight class after the loud-mouthed Brooks was disqualified for slamming the Filipino striker’s head on the mat barely a minute into the clash at Lusail Sports Arena last March 1.

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It was an anticlimactic end to a rematch that has been laced with trash talk and spectacle. And naturally, Pacio prefers to have regained the belt in a much more definitive fashion.

“If the ONE (matchmakers) offer me a new opponent to fight at strawweight, I’d declare that I prefer to fight Jarred,” said Pacio, who brought with him the redesigned and heftier world title strap.

Longest-reigning champ

Pacio was the longest-reigning champion of the division until Brooks, who was coming off a stint in the UFC, joined the Asian promotion in 2021 and dethroned the pride of Benguet a year later.

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“Thinking about it, I feel like winning was just a bonus. The highlight, really, was that I was able to come out of it all safe,” recalled Pacio, who was brought to the hospital shortly after the duel.

“If I didn’t have my hand ready, I would have had my whole head taking all the impact. What happened next would’ve been truly different. Thank God I am safe.”

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READ: ONE: Pacio reclaims strawweight crown after Brooks disqualification

Pacio said that he is open to figuring in a trilogy—and that he prefers it happen in September at the earliest when he is fully healed from the incident.

“Doctors advised that I don’t do anything rigid for two months. But I still intend to turn in some light training to keep myself active,” he said.

“The ‘Ber months’ would be great for me. And I hope the fight will be here in the Philippines. So it’s my home court. More importantly, we could inspire more Filipinos and more Pinoy fighters to compete in the card,” he added.

The last time ONE staged a fight in Manila was on Dec. 3, 2022. It was also Pacio’s first loss to Brooks.

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“It’s also been too long since the last,” Pacio said with a smirk.

TAGS: Jarred Brooks, Joshua Pacio, ONE

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