Jarred Brooks did make a joke about Lito Adiwang‘s mullet. The American was not being too serious and is surprised that it upset his opponent so much,

“All I said was a comment on Facebook, and it was just a little jab. I said, ‘If I win, then you have to cut your mullet off’. It was more of a joke than anything.”

Brooks was a bit bemused by Adiwang’s reaction,

“He’s saying that he’s going to eat me for breakfast, that he’s a lion in the cage, and I’m just a monkey that tries to get into people’s heads. But it seems like he was trying to get into my head for some reason.”

No confidence

The American wonders if behind the trash talking facade his opponent might actually be feeling a little nervous,

“Maybe he’s trying to do something to alleviate the confidence that he doesn’t have. If he wants to be like that, then that’s perfectly fine. I’ll go out and take his confidence away.”

But Brooks does believe that Adiwang is a star and is happy to be facing an opponent with such a big fan following in the Philippines,

“Lito is like the new Manny Pacquiao in the Philippines. He’s a huge superstar over there. I think that’s great for my ONE debut because I can actually go out and beat somebody that already has a name in the promotion,” he said.

Hard hitting

His opponent’s teammate Joshua Pacio holds the strawweight title but Brooks believes Adiwang is the superior fighter,

I think that Lito definitely does have the striking advantage. Josh kicks hard, and his fight IQ is good, but I think if they went at it, Lito would probably end up beating him.”

He compares Adiwang to another elite boxer in the heavyweight division,

“He’s just super powerful. He’s like a Deontay Wilder of the strawweight division,” he said.

However he thinks that despite having speed and power Adiwang is not well rounded enough to truly compete at an elite level in MMA,

“He’s super fast. He has great kicks. I would say his kicking is probably his heaviest weapon. He has a good cross and good hooks. He’s the best, most dynamic striker in the division but unfortunately, this is mixed martial arts.”

Mind the gap

He doesn’t say as much but Brooks clearly believes that his wrestling and grappling will be superior,

“You’re going against people that are greater at jiu-jitsu, wrestling, and boxing, so if you put all those things together, then it’s bad news for Lito.”

Adiwang might have had more than six months to prepare for this contest but Brooks is a veteran wrestler and says the time simply won’t have been sufficient for the Filipino to close that gap,

“I know he’s been working on it, but I’ve been grappling my whole life. I’ve been wrestling my whole life. And I go against some of the best grapplers in the world over in Michigan. So good luck, Lito. It’s going to be a tough, tough outing for you if it gets on the ground.”

A war of words seems to have erupted despite Brook’s comments about the mullet being in jest. The two men get to settle their differences in the cage and a win for the American would potentially establish him as the number one contender in the strawweight division.